HC Deb 08 July 1937 vol 326 c551
37. Mr. R. J. Taylor

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to recent cases of canned food being found unfit for human consumption; and whether, in the interests of public health, he will introduce legislation making it obligatory to show on the labels of canned food the actual date when the canning took place?

Sir K. Wood

I do not know what particular instances the hon. Member may have in mind, but I am aware that canned food has from time to time to be condemned as unfit for human consumption. With regard to the latter part of the question I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Captain Cunningham-Reid) on 19th November last, of which I am sending him a copy.

Mr. Taylor

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the great danger there is in people purchasing canned food without any knowledge of the date of canning, and that in this particular instance, had it not been for the good sense of the tradesman, disaster might have followed; and could this not be obviated if the date of canning were on the can?

Sir K. Wood

There are many difficulties in the way of carrying out the suggestion which the hon. Gentleman proposes, and of course, it would not meet every case. Perhaps he will consult with me about it.

Mr. Leslie

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the cut-price shops purchase old stocks and put new labels on them, and that this practice might be stopped if the date of canning were stamped on the tin?

Sir K. Wood

People who do that sort of thing might interfere with the date.

Mr. Lewis Jones

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the date of canning may have no effect upon the quality of the contents, and that canned meat taken out by the Franklin Expedition was found a year ago to be perfect?

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