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

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Walthamstow 1902

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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to avoid the escape of smells arising during fat-melting, but I found that
though quite adapted for the conditions existing there, where the
apparatus could be closed up and left, it was quite unsuitable for a place
where men had to remain at the work. However, considerable improvements
have been made during the year in each place by improved
paving and reconstruction of boilers and exhaust flues, with a view
of minimising the unpleasantness which arises in the course of the work.
Food Suppxy.—The outbreak of disease at Derby from eating pork
pies which were poisonous, has called renewed attention to the condition
of premises used for the preparation of food. It was shown in that case
that even where reasonable care was taken to maintain the place in
a wholesome, sanitary condition, it was possible for very serious results
to obtain. While we endeavour to secure in Walthamstow that any
insanitary conditions removable by law or suasion shall not exist, yet we
have frequent evidence that breaches of the sanitary laws might at any
time provoke dire results. To see a man perched tailor-fashion on the
pastry-board in the semi-darkness of an underground bakehouse, beating
with his hand in a dish, a rich concoction for the best Christmas cakes,
or to see a batch of confections laid in trays to air on the damp straw
from the adjoining stable, are not without suggestiveness of evil, and are
indications of what ignorance and carelessness may do. The constant
observation of food exposed for sale has been maintained, and the
market places regularly visited on Fridays and Saturdays. No legal
proceedings have been found necessary during the year, but the following
articles have been destroyed with the consent of the owners:—
May 21st, 1902.—1 box of mackerel.
„ 27th, 1902.—1 „
June 30th, 1902.—2 boxes of haddock.
Aug. 2nd., 1902.—2 „ skate.
Sep. 9th, 1902.—1 barrel of white herrings.
„ 10th, 1902.—6 boxes of roker.
„ 30th, 1902.—1 box „
Oct. 4th, 1902.—1 ,, „
„ 7th, 1902.1 „ ,,
„ 17th, 1902.—2 boxes of codling.
Dec. 22nd, 1902.—2 ,, skate.
„ 30th, 1902.— 1 box of haddock.
Sale of Food and Drugs.—Samples to the number of 143 have
been submitted to the County Analyst, consisting of:—
Milk 74
Butter 42
Coffee 23
Pepper 4

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