It is to be regretted that Local Authorities are the subject of some criticism regarding their attitude to Clean Food Weeks. Indeed, an eminent speaker in a recent B.B.C. discussion programme confessed to having never heard of the project. That, in some instances, this criticism is justified there can be no doubt. During the past twelve months approximately one hundred of these weeks have been held throughout the country. Their value cannot be underestimated. Propaganda and guidance are the weapons of this campaign, and these, where possible, are surely preferable to legal action. The local Press shows an admirable willingness to co‐operate in these projects, and this assistance can be of immeasurable value. Irrespective of what the Ministries of Food and Health do, or do not do, to promote food hygiene, it is the responsibility of every Local Authority to ensure that its traders and public realise the prime importance of a fuller understanding of the necessity for clean food. Since their conception, the Model Byelaws have been favourably received. Of the 1,444 Local Authorities in England and Wales, 1,200 have taken steps for their partial adoption, whilst in over 800 of these cases their full usage has been confirmed. Although the gaining of the co‐operation of the trader is the first step, the education of the general public can play a major part in the suppression of the sale of contaminated, and even in some cases adulterated, food. The public is sometimes termed “food conscious”—we are not quite sure what this expression means, but a public fully conscious of the dangers of unclean food can do a great deal to ease the work of the already overburdened Food and Drugs Officer. In a recent article in this Journal, Mr. R. A. Robinson mentions the “careless admission of foreign bodies in loaves and the rest”. Whether or not the purchaser of such an article should report the matter to the Local Health Department, or remonstrate with the retailer, is not our concern at the moment, but the increase in the number of these complaints is due to a greater alertness in the purchaser, and not, we trust, to an increasing carelessness on the part of the manufacturer. The aim of all Public Health Departments should be to encourage the public to insist upon a clean restaurant or café, where the food is hygienically prepared; once this is established, the undesirable premises will be forced either to improve their standards or to put up their shutters through lack of business. An excellently written booklet, eminently suitable for public distribution in connection with Clean Food Weeks, is reviewed elsewhere in this issue. An intensive drive now for a general education in the dangers of contaminated food will repay a full dividend in the not too far distant future.
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