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

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East Ham 1949

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for East Ham]

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(b) Meat and Other Foods.
(1) Meat Inspection.—Inspections of butchers' shops in the
Borough were maintained during the year and improvements
effected, particularly in regard to certain manufactory premises.
Fewer complaints were received of poor quality meat and in 110
instance was it necessary to seize any unsound meat. Some 908
lbs. of meat were, however, surrendered as unfit for human consumption.
Towards the end of the year special attention was
directed to the transport and delivery of meat in the Borough.
Improvements in the cleanliness of the vans and porters' overalls
were effected. This matter is being followed up and further progress
in the type of vehicle used, overalls worn and methods of handling
meat are aimed at.
(2) Food Premises.—The number of inspections made to food
premises included 51 dairies, 62 bakehouses and 1,683 other
premises. Generally, it was observed that the standard of cleanliness
was much improved, due in all probability to the publicity
given in the Press to the necessity for practising the principles of
food hygiene and to the easing of the supply position in regard to
materials and equipment.
It is, however, in the failure of the food-handlers to understand
and apply these principles that the greatest dangers lie. These
difficulties can only be overcome by continuous education and
publicity in such matters.
As a practical contribution, the Council, in March, adopted a
scheme by which all outdoor food-handlers in the Borough could
avail themselves of free washing facilities at the public conveniences.
Notwithstanding the limitations of such a scheme due to the
location of these conveniences, the response so far leaves much to
be desired.
(3) Slaughterhouses.—There is only one licensed slaughterhouse
in the Borough which was not in use during the year.
Under the Slaughter of Animals Act, 1933, six licences were
applied for and granted to slaughtermen.
(4) Bacteriological Sampling.—In addition to 96 samples of
milk the following were submitted for examination: 73 ice-cream,
1 bread, 1 custard tart, 1 drinking water, 1 of subsoil water and
8 samples of water from the public swimming baths.
The 73 samples of ice-cream were obtained from 37 different
sources of supply including places of public entertainment and