Recent years have witnessed the growth of a new food problem—foreign matter in articles of food and drink, which are not there by design, but largely by accident and, to some extent, by carelessness, and in the greatest number of cases, resulting from the enormous development of machine preparation of food, mechanisation of packing and bottling processes, as well as the concentration of food manufacturing into larger and larger units. The tide of prosecutions for this type of offence shows no signs of abating; they probably exceed all other offences under food legislation. Nor can they be expected to with this increasing trend in the food industry. The machine operative has replaced the old hand craftsman and it would probably be fair to say that many of the personal objects found in food preparations result from mechanisation, for a cigarette end or other object accidentally dropped into a fast‐moving food matrix is quickly beyond recall! The cases which go to prosecution, however, do not represent by any means all those incidents which are reported to public health and other departments, and these in turn are only a fraction of the cases which are never reported at all.
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