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British Food Journal Volume 45 Issue 7 1943

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 July 1943


Large numbers who have received “certificates of attestation” are the better class producers, who, mostly, have always produced clean milk. Many of them are “estate” farms, and some sell no milk at all, but they all enjoy the free services of the nation's servants. I think I am quite right in saying that actually the promoters of the “attestation” scheme (not being the Ministry of Health), are not really concerned with the milk production—as to whether it is clean or not. All the various activities which this memorandum exposes have some good in them, but altogether they make for very little. The experience born of them should be now pooled, and a real compulsory plan proceeded with. An idea which might come to fruition in, say, five years occurs to me, and it is as follows: (1) Frequent inspection of methods and milk sampling at all farms and dairies (both wholesale and retail). (2) Every producer's milk should be tested by animal inoculation for tubercle infection, at least twice per annum. Microscopic examinations of the same samples would disclose certain other infections, such as streptococci. Tests of the same sample for cleanliness (Methylene Blue and Coli) should be applied, with subsequent following inspection of methods to enforce cleanliness. (3) Frequent sampling of milk at various points of transit to consumer for quality. Often milk for delivery to wholesaler or retailer would be sampled on same occasions as visits under item 2. A new regulation should require all receptables containing milk, when placed out of his physical possession, to be sealed, pending collection by the wholesale buyer. The placing of such receptacles exposed to the sun, as is now done in thousands of cases at farm gates, should be prohibited by regulation. It is a common sight to see such receptacles on roads for hours, exposed to the hot sun, awaiting the arrival of the collecting lorry. Often the lids of the churns are raised, with consequent risk of contamination. Some of this milk being the previous afternoon's production, is eighteen to twenty hours old before being collected for transmission to the collecting depot. At such an age, and subjected to such exposure, milk, even of good production, will almost always prove to be of poor keeping quality, indeed it is often on “the turn” on arrival at the depot. (4) The Government should encourage by monetary assistance the renovation of cowsheds and dairies, with emphasis on the provision of a good water supply and means of sterilising utensils. All milk sold to the consumer should be in closed bottles, cartons, or other closed receptacle. (5) Results of tuberculous and other disease‐infected milk discovered by item 2 to be forwarded to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Animal Health Division, co‐operative consideration being given on finding extent of disease in any cow as to whether legal proceedings should be instituted for failing to report animal and/or for selling tuberculous milk. (6) Statutory authority should be given providing for the tuberculin test of all cattle, and the sale of reactors should be prohibited. In connection with this, two or three years notice should be given to all cattle keepers (including non‐producers) that a survey tuberculin test would be carried out (the notice being for the purpose of enabling cattle owners to rear sufficient young T.T. stock to replace reactors found on first survey test, and so avert serious reduction in milk yields). The reacting animals would become the property of the State, appropriate compensation being paid to the owner before immediate removal to a district farm establishment adequately segregated, and managed by, say, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries—one such establishment could serve several counties. The best of such animals could be marketed for food, thereby reclaiming a substantial part of the monetary outlay paid in compensation. The reactors would be replaced by the young T.T. stock provided by each owner during the two or three years prior to the first survey. A second test should be made, and any eliminating process necessary via the Ministry's reacting establishments repeated. Afterwards it should be made a serious offence to permit the addition to any herd of any animal which has not passed the tuberculin test. Home‐bred stock should be tested as soon after birth as possible (say 14 days). The test relating to the addition to herds should be the responsibility of the owner, and the cost of tuberculin testing by a private veterinary surgeon should be a fixed, reasonable charge. Certificates showing the result should be furnished to the Animal Health Division office. Thereafter an annual tuberculin test of all herds, with accompanying clinical examination by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, should be made, when compliance with the regulations respecting animals added since the previous inspection could be checked. If some such scheme as outlined was proceeded with, gone would be the necessity of all the present halfhearted voluntary schemes which are only touching a very small percentage of cattle. As all milk would be clean, tuberculin tested milk, controlled by bacteriological tests, no need would exist for the Milk (Special Designations) Orders: these could be repealed. No more milk need be “pasteurised.” “Approval” of milk for schools, with all its complications, would be redundant, as it would not matter which producer's milk was consumed by the children. The National Milk Testing Scheme would be redundant also.


(1943), "British Food Journal Volume 45 Issue 7 1943", British Food Journal, Vol. 45 No. 7, pp. 61-70.




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