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

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Stepney 1938

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Stepney]

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There were 1,275 carcases of imported mutton examined for Caseous
Lymphadenitis by the cutting of the lymphatic glands. All the carcases were
found to be free from disease.
The number of diseased carcases found in 1937 was 3 or 13 per cent.
Tea Sweepings weighing 45 tons 16 cwts were removed from warehouses
for chemical purposes.
Proceedings were taken under the Food and Drugs (Adulteration) Act,
1028, against a firm in the Borough, for manufacturing margarine on unregistered
premises, for selling margarine containing 60 per cent, of milk fat and
for having in their possession a package containing margarine which was not
correctly labelled.
Fines and costs totalling £39 9s. Od. were imposed.
Another firm were summoned under the Food and Drugs (Adulteration)
Act, 1928, for selling butter containing at least 36 per cent, margarine, and
one of the partners was summoned for obstruction. Informal sampling was
carried out for several weeks prior to the purchase of the official sample and
these samples showed the presence of amounts varying from 36 per cent, to
60 per cent, of margarine.
Fines and costs totalling £25 10s. Od. were imposed.
Copper in imported tomato pulp, tomato puree, etc.—In view of the
proposal of Port Sanitary Authorities to exclude from 1st January, 1939,
consignments of tomato products containing more than 50 parts per million
of the dried total solids, various wharfingers in the Borough handling such
goods were circularised in March and asked to co-operate by informing the
merchants concerned.
Owing to subsequent representation by the exporting countries that the
suggested action was somewhat drastic, it was modified to a tolerance of 100
parts per million from 1st January, 1939 to 1st January, 1940, after which, the
standard of 50 parts per million would be enforced. The wharfingers were
circularised to this effect in December, 1938.
18 samples of tomato products were taken during the year and the copper
content ranged from 39 to 129 parts per million of the dried total solids.
During February, large quantities of foodstuffs were damaged by flood
water as a result of the exceptionally high tide causing the flooding of many
warehouses on the river side.
These were detained, the sound portion removed and the unsound portion
surrendered for destruction.
Zeebrugge-Harwich Train Ferry.—69 special midnight and early morning
visits were made by the Food Inspectors. In addition, 139 inspections were
made by day.
At Bishopsgate Station.—-The total weight of the fresh fruit and vegetables
entered was approximately 11,335 tons.
This consisted of :—
Belgian Carrots.
Bulgarian Grapes and Plums.