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

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West Ham 1948

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

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Particulars are given hereunder of 12 samples of water which were taken during the period January to June and submitted for examination.

SOURCE OF SAMPLINGNumber of samples
Council's Wells51
Taps of ward kitchens and other points at institutions.6-
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All samples were found to be satisfactory and were reported upon as being consistent with
a pure and wholesome water suitable for drinking and domestic purposes.
FLOODING. Due to heavy rainfall during the month of June, several areas of the Borough
were severely affected by flooding. An emergency office was opened in the Silvertown district,
and in conjunction with the Food Executive Officer, emergency food cards and soap coupons were
issued to tenants of houses affected; food cards only being issued where the foodstuffs had
been condemned by the Sanitary Inspector.
Following this incident, a comprehensive Flood Relief Scheme was planned and is held in
readiness for any future emergency of this nature.
1. Dairies. (excluding milk shops)
During the year there were 150 visits made to dairies, and all were found to be in a
satisfactory condition.
2. Cafes, Restaurant kitchens, etc.
A total of 82 notices were served under Section 13 of the Food & Drugs Act, 1938, 55 of
which were served upon the occupiers, the remainder upon the owners. In many instances it merely
necessitated verbal warning to remedy any contravention of this Act.
Three outstanding cases which resulted in prosecutions were as follows:-
A cafe proprietor was summonsed on two accounts under Section 13: one for allowing a
store room for food to be used for sleeping purposes, and secondly, for the store room and
kitchen not being kept in a clean condition. He was fined £5 on each summons with £5.5S. costs.
In another instance, the owner and occupier were both fined for contravention of Section
13. The owner for not keeping the cafe in a proper state of repair, and the occupier for not
cleansing the premises.
The third case was under Section 9 of the Act. A shop keeper had in his possession for
the purpose of sale or for preparation for sale, ice cream powder, which was intended for, but
was unfit for, human consumption. Two dead mice were discovered in the bin of ice cream powder,
and this resulted in a fine of £25 with five guineas costs.
UNSOUND FOODo During the year unsound foodstuffs in great quantities and varieties were
surrendered, and appropriate action was taken to ensure that the condemned food was destroyed so
as to prevent it being used for human consumption,, Legal proceedings were taken in the case of
the ice cream powder mentioned above.

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