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Volume 486: debated on Monday 16 April 1951

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asked the Minister of Food, in view of the fact that the minimum meat content required in beef sausages by Statutory Instrument, 1951, No. 314, is 4 2/5 ounces per pound, upon what calculation he stated in the explanatory note that the actual meat content may not be reduced below 40 per cent.

For the purpose of this Order manufacturers may use six parts of milk powder as the equivalent of ten parts of meat. This means that if 6 per cent. of milk powder is added, the actual meat content of a beef sausage may be reduced by 10 per cent. The explanatory note is correct, therefore, in saying that it may be reduced in this way from 50 per cent. to 40 per cent.; it does not cover the provision about vegetable fat, which was not newly introduced by this Order.

Does the Minister agree that the Order includes the provision with regard to vegetable fat, which it re-enacts? Surely the explanatory note ought to take that into account. As the minimum meat content is 27½ per cent., is it not very misleading for the Order to say that the actual meat content may not be reduced in this way below 40 per cent.?

I do not think so. In the end what matters is the practical test of how far, in the situation in which we are working, we can make sausages as palatable as possible. I took the advice of the trade. What better advice could I take?

Can the Minister say how much milk powder can be put into a sausage before it ceases to be a sausage and becomes a cream bun?


asked the Minister of Food what steps he is taking to secure an early improvement in the quality and quantity of sausages available to consumers in the United Kingdom.

When more meat is available manufacturers will have a proportionate extra share.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the present supplies amount to an average of only two sausages per person per week, both of which are anaemic and very debilitated? What is he doing to alleviate this hardship, in view of the general shortage of meat, bacon, eggs and sausages?

The distribution of manufacturing meat must take account of the amount of meat we send to the housewife for home consumption. We have taken very fair action to ensure that manufacturers have as much meat as is available. The whole thing turns on our ability to get more meat.

Does not the Minister agree that two sausages per person per week is quite ridiculous?