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

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Dagenham 1957

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Dagenham]

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At the Dagenham Town Show held on Saturday and Sunday, 13th and 14th July
an exhibition was arranged including dirty and clean empty milk bottles, diseased meat
and a light-hearted quiz designed to enable visitors to the Show to check their knowledge
as to the difference between horseflesh and beef, and the organs of various animals,
together with different types of fish.
Unsound Food
There has been no decrease in the number of complaints received in respect of food
containing foreign substances or otherwise alleged to be unfit for human consumption.
Legal proceedings were taken in respect of two complaints (a mouldy pork pie and
bread containing rodent excreta); a fine of £10 was imposed in each case.
The normal method of disposing of unsound food is to use the incinerator at the
Council's refuse disposal works. Occasionally, when there is a quantity of meat, it is
disposed of under supervision through the Council's waste food service; the meat is
previously cut up and dyed.
Registration of Food Hawkers
Under the provisions of the Essex County Council Act, 1952, Section 103,13 persons
were registered as food hawkers; three had storage premises in the Borough.

Food Poisoning

51 cases of food poisoning were notified during the year. The following is a copy of the annual return submitted to the Ministry of Health:—

1st Quarter 162nd Quarter 53rd Quarter 134th Quarter 17Total 51
Outbreaks due to Identified Agents. Total Outbreaks2Total Cases6
Outbreaks of Undiscovered Cause Total Outbreaks10Total Cases32
Single Cases
Agent Identified4Unknown Cause9
Total13
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All the outbreaks were confined to individual families and all identified agents were
of the Salmonella group.
22


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