In the recently issued Report of the Local Government Board Dr. A. W. J. MacFadden refers to the inadequate methods of meat inspection which have long been under consideration, and in regard to which the special experience gained during the war has, in his opinion, greatly strengthened the grounds for instituting changes. Attention, for example, is forcibly directed to the lack of system in the inspection and the facility which is afforded for the unchecked disposal of cow carcasses for human food. Dr. MacFadden points out that a very considerable proportion of the cows slaughtered annually in this country are seriously affected with tuberculosis, while under conditions which normally exist in England and Wales only a small proportion of these cows ever come under inspection at the time of their slaughter. It must be borne in mind that, whatever inspection may be given to meat after it has been dressed and cut into portions for sale, it is generally quite impossible to detect whether or not the meat was derived from an animal in a diseased condition. Dr. MacFadden strongly advocates the promotion of public abattoirs and the compulsory closing of private slaughter‐houses. In the summer of 1918 considerable anxiety was shown by a number of medical officers of health as to the soundness and wholesomeness of the frozen meat which was being delivered in their districts. Some consignments were rejected by the local authorities and returned to the distributing centre. Public anxiety on the score of health, reports Dr. MacFadden, was largely allaved by the activity shown by medical officers of health and their staffs throughout the country in protecting the country against danger from this source, and much credit is due to them for the success achieved at a time when the border‐line between safety and danger was often ill‐defined, and when all the circumstances offered temptation to a policy of chance. The vast quantities of foods required by armies led to organised inquiry into the sanitary condition of food‐preparing premises. This involved literally thousands of visits by the Board's inspectors of foods to such premises of all sizes and descriptions in different parts of the country, and careful records have been kept of the conditions found and of the improvements effected. A survey of these records shows that while in a number of the larger factories work has been carried out under conditions likely to ensure the production of sound and wholesome foodstuffs, in many others, even of this class, the opposite has been the case, while in a large proportion of the smaller factories and food‐preparing places the conditions disclosed were unsatisfactory in the extreme.
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