HC Deb 25 January 1954 vol 522 cc1452-3
38. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Food how many sample tests have been taken by his Department, since the decontrol of sausages last March, to ascertain the meat content of pork sausages; in how many cases there was less than 65 per cent. meat content; and in how many cases it reached 75 per cent. or more

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Charles Hill)

The testing of samples is the responsibility of the local food and drugs authorities. Ministry officers have also made local inquiries in certain areas. Though the resulting material is not in a form to yield the statistics asked for, it does suggest that the meat content of pork sausages is, in general, as good as or better than under control.

Mr. Dodds

Does not the hon. Gentleman appreciate that on 14th December the Minister, in replying to me on this point, said: I have had sample tests taken in various parts of the country and in London"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th December, 1953; Vol. 522, c. 23.] Why cannot I be informed of those statistics? As it is, by law, necessary to state whether preservatives are used in sausages, why cannot the pork or beef content be divulged to the housewives so that a sausage can be treated with respect instead of as a bag of mystery?

Dr. Hill

The source of information is twofold. One is the Ministry's officers to whose inquiries I referred, and the other is the investigations of the analysts of local authorities. The hon. Member may be interested to know that the analysts' figures reveal that in the first quarter of last year, most of which period was under control, the proportion of pork sausages falling below the 65 per cent. standard was one in 10, whereas in the third quarter of the year, under freedom, it was one in 20.