Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London, City of ]
the question with a deputation from the Incorporated Society of the London
Meat Trades, when the representatives practically agreed with my views on
In Dublin the Sanitary Authority have power to make Bye-laws, inter alia,
with regard to this question. Bye-law 21, made under the Towns Improvement
Act, 1847, the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878, and the Dublin
Corporation Act, 1890, runs as follows:—
"Every carcase or portion of a carcase of meat conveyed through the
"public thoroughfares shall be conveyed in a properly constructed cart or
"other suitable vehicle, and shall be properly covered and not exposed to
The Irish are to be congratulated upon the provision of such a reasonable
Bye-law, and it seems an anomaly that the protection afforded to the
community of Ireland should be withheld from the inhabitants of the rest of
the United Kingdom, where the necessity for such is certainly as great.
In this connection there is another matter which affects the interests of
traders and consumers alike. I refer to the common practice until recently in
vogue of depositing meat, &c., on the pavements in the vicinity of the Market,
where it is liable to contamination from numerous sources, of which it is only
necessary to present one— the dog nuisance.
At my suggestion the following notice was issued to those engaged in the
handling of meat supplies, and I may say that this has to a large extent
resulted in abatement of the evil:—
"Notice to Meat Carriers and Butchers.
"Attention is called to the objectionable habit of depositing meat and
"offal on the pavement, preparatory to loading, and thus rendering the
"articles liable to contamination of various kinds. Unless this habit be
"discontinued, it will be necessary for the Meat Inspectors to take action
"in accordance with the powers conferred by the 47th Section of the
"Public Health (London) Act, 1891."