HC Deb 06 December 1950 vol 482 cc361-2
54. Mr. Shepherd

asked the Minister of Food the amount of bacon which in the last three months has been condemned as unfit for human consumption either while at the Blackburn depot or subsequent to being sent on from the depot.

Mr. Webb

I am informed that only 28 lb. of bacon was condemned in Blackburn during August, September and October. A consignment of 21 tons of imported bacon from one particular factory which was distributed among wholesalers in the North Western area in September was found to be miscured, and the shippers have accepted full responsibility. The consignment was immediately withdrawn and dealt with; but I cannot say how much of it had been sent to Blackburn.

Mr. Shepherd

Has it been possible to detect the error which caused the loss of this bacon? What steps have been taken to see that it does not occur again, as 21 tons is a large amount of bacon?

Mr. Webb

I am concerned about the matter, but I am sure that there is no step we could take to ensure that accidents of this kind will not occur.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

Where did the bacon come from?

Mr. Webb


Mr. W. Fletcher

Was the sending of this bacon to Blackburn, Labour's love lost?

Mrs. Cullen

Could not my right hon. Friend stop pig breeders from feeding their pigs on fish meal, which is one of the causes of their bacon being rendered unfit for human consumption?

Mr. Webb

That is another question; I will answer it if my hon. Friend will put it down.

55 and 53. Mr. W. Shepherd

asked the Minister of Food (1) the percentage of pig carcases which last year were found to be infected with tuberculosis; and the percentage which was rendered unfit for human consumption;

(2) the percentage of pig meat which last year was rendered unfit for human consumption as a result of disease; and if he will state the broad categories involved.

Mr. Webb

Of the pig meat handled by my Department in the last financial year, 0.51 per cent. was condemned as unfit for human consumption on account of disease and other causes, but I cannot say how much of this was the result of tuberculosis. This percentage does not include condemnations of individual cuts of otherwise sound pigs slaughtered at bacon factories, as it would not be practicable for my department to maintain records of these.

Mr. Shepherd

As about 13 per cent. of pig carcases in some bacon factories are found to be affected by that disease, what steps is the right hon. Gentleman taking to improve the situation?

Mr. Webb

I am not responsible for what happens to the pig before it arrives.

A Question should be put down to another Department about it.