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Meat (Inspection)

Volume 530: debated on Wednesday 21 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Food whether he will place the inspection of all meat under the control of veterinary surgeons as recommended by the recent report, a copy of which has been sent to him, of the committee formed to investigate this matter particularly in view of the fact that this is the custom in most other cases in Western Europe.

The inspection of meat and the appointment of the necessary officers are matters within the responsibility of local authorities under the Food and Drugs Act.

In view of the fact that nine-tenths of the cases of food poisoning are traceable to meat, would it not be better to have meat inspection under the control of people trained in the matter, rather than under that of sanitary inspectors who are not?

That is a matter of opinion. The veterinary people naturally think that they are the best at the job. Curiously enough, the sanitary inspection people think they are. On the whole, the best thing to do is to have a compromise and to permit such arrangements as are carried out by the city of Manchester, for instance, where they work side by side with great proficiency.

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that the report was issued without having any proper inspection of slaughterhouses? Is he aware that for the veterinary profession to get this matter into their hands is wrong, and that sanitary inspectors, generally speaking, are trained in the inspection of meat, and that it would be better to leave the work to the sanitary inspectors?