The annual report of the Ministry of Health for the year ended March 31st last states that, during that period, 120,617 samples were analysed under the Acts. This is the largest number ever recorded. A total of 7,044 samples were reported as adulterated or not up to standard, or 5.8 per cent., compared with 6.5 per cent. for the previous year. Of 62,507 samples of milk, 4,625 or 7.4 per cent. were not up to standard or adulterated. Eighty samples were contaminated by dirt, against 131 the previous year. Colouring matter was detected in 41 samples, one of which also contained 50 per cent. of added water. One sample of dried milk consisted of soya bean, cane sugar, milk sugar, and a vegetable oil. Eighty‐two of the butter samples consisted wholly or partly of foreign fats. One case was found of a grocer selling unlabelled margarine as “butter mixture.” When a purchaser complained of gritty bread, it was found to contain 0.12 per cent. of sand, thought to have been due to mill sweepings having been introduced into the flour. Custard powders were adulterated by the presence of acid dyes, while egg powders were found to contain no eggs. One egg powder sample consisted of 63 per cent. of flour, 20.6 per cent. of bicarbonate of soda, and 16.4 per cent. of tartaric acid, with a trace of colouring matter. Foreign fats, cornflour, or other starch, traces of lead, and oxide of iron were found in samples of chocolate. One case was reported of the use in chocolate rock of commercial burnt sienna containing an excessive quantity of arsenic. A number of samples of sponge cakes were found to contain boric acid, and traces of this preservative were also detected in samples of other foods, including ice‐cream, sponge sandwich, meat pie, fish paste, potted shrimps, and sausages. Powdered talc in small quantities still continues to be introduced into rice, and three cases are reported in which an article sold as sago was found on examination to be tapioca. Seven hundred and seventy‐three samples of sausages were examined, and 18.5 per cent. were found to be adulterated by the addition of preservative (usually boric acid). A consignment of tea containing iron filings was seized and destroyed. Eight grains of iron filings to the pound and 12 per cent. of dust were found in another lot of tea, while in a third sample the tea dust contained 8 per cent. of mineral matter. Adulterated samples of ground ginger and ground cinnamon were found to contain mineral matter, petroleum products were found in turpentine, and traces of lead and cornflour in cream of tartar.
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