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

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Malden and Coombe 1952

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Malden & Coombe]

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low category of grade IV. The results can be said to be very
gratifying As I have previously explained the methylene
blue test does not provide a guarantee of safety but it does
serve as a simple and practical method of grading ice-cream
according to its degree of bacterial cleanliness and samples
which consistently fail to reach grades I or II give reasonable
grounds to indicate defects in manufacture or handling requiring
further investigation. The certificate giving the results of testing
has the following note appended :—
"Owing to the numerous factors governing the hygienic
quality of ice-cream it is unwise to pay too much attention
to the bacteriological results of any single sample. Judgement
should be based rather on a series of samples. It is
suggested over a six monthly period 50 per cent of vendors
samples should fall into grade 1, 80 per cent into grades I
or II, not more than 20 per cent into grade III and none
into grade IV".

The following table shows the results of samples taken since 1947 and it will be seen that those for the past two years are well within the limits indicated in the above note.

YearTotal Samples TakenGrades I or II.%Grade III.%Grade IV.%

It may be noted that all five samples placed in Grade III
were manufactured outside this Borough. The firms concerned and
the Health Departments of the Councils in whose area the icecream
was made were notified and subsequent samples proved
Ice-cream generally must now contain not less than 5% fat, 10%
sugar and 1½% milk solids other than fat, although some variations
in this standard are permitted where ice-cream contains fruit or,
because of the Jewish dietary law, is sold as Parev (Kosher) Ice.
A number of samples were taken during the year, details of
which will be found in the table giving a list of food and drugs
samples analysed (pages 19 and 20).
By reason of the fact that the Council appoints an analyst
for the purposes of the Food and Drugs Acts, 1938 and 1944, they
may execute any of the provisions of the Merchandise Marks Act