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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In addition, the following foodstuffs were condemned—
fish 4,029 lbs., fruit 236 lbs., fats 68 lbs., eggs 81, cheese
113 lbs., confectionery 6,838 lbs., other foodstuffs 1,500 lbs.
(c) Adulteration.
Whilst restricting sampling to the number falling within the
estimate, efforts were directed to cover a wider range of foodstuffs,
consistent with the gradual improvement in the supply position.
Of the samples reported by the Public Analyst as being unsatisfactory,
6 were due to deficiencies, 4 to some form of
contamination, 4 to the presence of preservative, which although
permitted had not been notified to the customer, 2 were unsound
and unfit for human consumption and only one adulterated.
Gelatine was examined for the presence of arsenic, and potato
crisps for the presence of linseed, horse or mineral oil.
As a matter of interest the Analyst reports that analysis of
cooking fats, frying oils, etc., now involves examination for the
presence of mineral oil, for of recent years the use of mineral oil
both liquid and solid for baking purposes has become somewhat
frequent. The Ministry of Food has in fact issued an Order
prohibiting the use of mineral oil in foods, such prohibition is said
to be based upon physiological grounds.

The number of samples taken and the Public Analyst's findings are set forth in the following Table


Number of SamplesPercentage of samples unsatisfactory
ExaminedFound adulterated or below standard
Beverages (non-alcoholic)8—-—-
Fish and Fish Products4125.0
Meat and Meat Products7978.8
Wines and Spirits15