HC Deb 11 May 1964 vol 695 cc12-3
12. Mr. Short

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he is taking on the complaint sent to him on 24th March by Newcastle-upon-Tyne Corporation regarding the low meat content of sauages on sale in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

A letter was sent to the corporation on 2nd April drawing its attention to the action taken by other food and drugs authorities in similar circumstances.

Mr. Short

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this sausage had a meat content of only 46 per cent.? Does he think that good enough? Does the hon. Gentleman not think the time has come when a minimum meat content should be laid down or that at any rate the package should show exactly what it contains so that people may know what they are eating? If I send the hon. Gentleman a sausage and another to his right hon. Friend, will he think about it?

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

I refer the hon. Member to the original Answer. There have been successful prosecutions under the Food and Drugs Act, 1955, when analysis has shown the meat content of pork and beef sausages to be less than 65 per cent. and 50 per cent., respectively. The authorities have instituted prosecutions on that basis. There have been eight successful prosecutions in respect of pork sausages and four in respect of beef sausages. As the hon. Member will know, there are difficulties in devising standards to lay down minimum contents for pork and beef sausages.

Mr. Popplewell

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.