London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Lambeth 1925

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Lambeth Borough]

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106
Health (Meat) Regulations, 1924, in each case), such requirements
being regarded as requirements or notices under such Regulations.
N.B.—This work is proceeding slowly and what has been
done in the way of providing glazed shop fronts, &c., is a definite
improvement and has proved to have been quite reasonable and
practical suggestions. The Trade is beginning to realise this fact,
but it will, naturally, take time.
It may be stated, that, in reply to the many circular and other
letters (mentioned above), that have been sent out, very few objections
have been received from the respective individual owners or occupiers
of the slaughter-houses, meat shops (and meat stores) and meat stalls
concerned.
The ideals of the Regulations may be summed up in the two
phrases — (1) scrupulous cleanliness; and (2) freedom (as far as
possible) from contamination, or risk of contamination, (a) by flies, or
(b) from dust, dirt, mud, filth or other contaminating substances being
splashed or blown on to the meat.
How best can these ideals be effected? With regard to the first
(scrupulous cleanliness), nothing more need be said. Such an ideal
must appeal to all, but there are practical difficulties surrounding the
second (freedom, as far as possible, from contamination by or from
dirt, &c.), whilst, in addition, there is the question of expense. It is
always to be borne in mind, however, that whatever is required to be
done must be "reasonably necessary" to attain the object desired.
The provision of a glazed front to a shop seems an easy and obvious
way out of the difficulty, as a protection against flies, dirt, dust, &c., in
most cases, at least, but, unfortunately, the Council has no power to
prescribe such fronts or any other methods, and must be content,
therefore, with suggestions only. Many such glazed shop fronts have
already been provided, and satisfaction is expressed on all sides, not
only by the trade but also by the public. The meat trade should be,
and, as a fact, speaking generally, is as desirous as the Sanitary Authority
to fall in with any practical suggestions, which are only made with
one object, viz.: to keep meat (1) scrupulously clean and (2) free, as far
as possible, from contamination by flies, dirt, dust, &c. Even the
Ministry of Health is satisfied that meat should not be allowed to
project outside the limits of the wall or screen of the shop or stall, and
that, where meat is kept near to an open window, the general rule
should be that such meat should be covered with clean muslin or other
suitable material (except at times of brisk trade).
Much is being done by persuasion, and the Council's Food
Officers are well aware of the difficulties that surround them. Nothing
is done except under the written signature of the Medical Officer of
Health, and no unreasonable or impracticable requests are made, but,
on the other hand, the particular meat trade involved are asked to make
suggestions—practical suggestions.


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