The Commissioner of Public Health by virtue of the powers invested in him under “The Health Acts, 1900 to 1922” has made Regulations dealing with the Manufacture, Storage, Handling, Sale, etc., of Food and Drugs and other closely allied articles. Standards of purity and composition are laid down and most of the articles mentioned are defined. The Regulations have been approved by His Excellency the Governor and will come into operation on 1st May, 1929. These Regulations are very comprehensive, and wide in their scope, and in great contrast to the state of affairs in Great Britain where it would be necessary to search innumerable Departmental Orders, Factory Acts, Bye‐laws, etc., to find any regulations which approach these in their objects or entirety. Owing to absence of similar consolidation many of our regulations are overlooked or neglected. In only a few instances can it be said that we have specific regulations superior to these under review.—The first section contains General Regulations dealing mainly with the labelling of articles. They require that very full information should be stated as to the name and composition of the substance, the name and address of the manufacturer, importer or dealer, and the place of manufacture or origin. These particulars have to be printed on the label in plain letters of special size. The section also deals with the permissible use of specific preservatives and colouring matters, the character and quality of the containers, the allowable limits of poisonous metals, the declaration of net weights and measures, and stipulates the kinds of boiler compositions and vermin exterminators which may be used in food factories. The next section contains Specific Regulations covering all the common articles of Food, Beverages, Drugs, and commonly used substances like Methylated Spirit, Biological products (Anti‐toxins, Sera, Vaccines, etc.), Soap, Disinfectants and Colouring matters. The several articles are defined, whether natural or compounded, and if prepared, details of the methods of manufacture are given, also, in most cases, it is specified how the article concerned should be labelled. Many of these regulations and definitions are worthy of special mention, if only in comparison with the regulations, or want of similar regulations in this Country. To note just a few of the most important:—“Self‐raising flour” and “Baking Powder” must yield not less than forty‐five grains of carbon dioxide per pound, and ten per cent. by weight of carbon dioxide, respectively. “Corn‐flour” may be the starch powder derived from any variety of grain. “Infants' foods” must have statements on the label indicating the composition, source of ingredients and value in calories. “Dripping” and “Lard” must contain not more than two per cent. of free fatty acids, while so‐called “Edible Fats and Oils” must contain not more than one per cent. of free fatty acids. “Sausage meat” must contain not less than seventy‐five per cent. of meat. “Mar‐garine” must contain not less than one per cent. of starch, or, not less than five per cent. of sesame oil. “Milk” is described as the lacteal secretion of the cow. It must be clean and fresh, and must be obtained by completely emptying the udder of the healthy cow properly fed and kept, excluding that got during fifteen days immediately before, and ten days immediately following on parturition. It must contain not less than eight and five‐tenths parts per cent. of milk solids not fat, three and three‐tenths parts per cent. of milk fat, and not less than twelve parts per cent. of total solids; its freezing point must not be higher than 0.55°C., below zero as determined by the Winter method. It must not contain any pathogenic micro‐organisms. It must not contain more than one million micro‐organisms to the cubic centimetre from 1st of October to 31st of March, and not more than five hundred thousand micro‐organisms from 1st of April to 30th September. When subjected to the reductase test it must not completely decolourise the methylene blue in less than three hours. “Coffee” must contain not less than ten per cent. of fat. “Coffee essence” must contain not less than 0.5 per cent. of caffeine. “Coffee and chicory essence” must contain not less than 0.25 per cent. of caffeine. “Cocoa powder” must be free from added alkali. “Soluble cocoa” must not contain more than three per cent. of added alkali. “Chocolate” must contain not less than ten per cent. of fat‐free and alkali‐free cocoa. “Icecream” must contain not less than ten per cent. of milk fat. “Potable waters” must conform to certain bacteriological standards of purity. “Drugs” with certain exceptions, must conform to the standards of the British Pharmacopoeia and British Pharmaceutical Codex. “Soap” must contain not less than fifty‐nine per cent. of fatty acids. “Colouring matters.” A list of thirty‐one permitted colouring matters is given. The third section deals with the conditions under which food may be manufactured, stored, handled and sold. The state of the premises as regards construction, suitability and free‐dom from vermin. These regulations are similar to those contained in some of our Factory Acts and certain local Bye‐laws but appear to be more stringent.—Here again only a few of the more important points can be noted. Transportation of food must be conducted in specially constructed vehicles provided with adequate protection against contamination. No returned food must be resold. Exposed food must be protected against dust and insects. Printed paper must not be used for food wrapping. Dealers in second hand containers are compelled to thoroughly cleanse and sterilise them before re‐sale. The use of food containers for disinfectants or poisons is prohibited. Milk and dairy produce must not be handled by any person suffering from any infectious or contageous disease. Milk vessels must be constructed of suitable materials, be kept in good repair, be properly cleansed and of such a shape as to allow thorough cleansing and inspection. Milk vessels despatched to a retailer must be securely sealed. Any person delivering milk is prohibited from carrying water at the same time. No icecream which has become melted must be re‐frozen. Hotels, Boarding Houses, Restaurants, Refreshment Rooms, etc., must have proper and adequate accommodation for storage of foods and occupiers must take due precaution to prevent contamination. All utensils used must be kept in a clean condition and food must not be served out with the fingers. The occupier is also made responsible for the personal habits of the employees while handling food. Regulations are also made for the construction, maintenance and care of Bakehouses, Soda Fountains, Cold Stores, and Meat and Fish Shops. One section deals with the conduct of the business of a “chemist.” It would have been more suitable if the term “pharmacist” had been used here. Finally it is stated that the fees to be paid for analysis are, twenty‐one shillings for chemical analysis, and forty‐two shillings for bacteriological analysis, a more generous rate of pay than that mentioned in a recent Act passed in this Country. Any person contravening any of these Regulations is liable to a penalty of twenty pounds.
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