§ MR. COURTHOPE (Sussex, Rye)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether a quantity of preserved kidneys imported from America have been seized in the City of London as unfit for human food; what quantity of boric acid or other preservative they contained, and what quantity of such preservative per gallon and per pound is considered deleterious to health; and when the promised regulations dealing with the importation and sale of unsound food will be issued.
(Answered by Mr. John Burns.) The answer, as regards the first point in the Question, is in the affirmative. Two samples were submitted to the public analyst. In the first case he reported that the fluid in which the kidneys were preserved and the kidneys themselves each contained 2.1 per cent. of boric acid, which was equivalent to 1,470 grains per gallon of the fluid, and 147 grains per pound of the kidneys, respectively. In the other case the analyst's report showed that the kidneys contained 1.46 per cent. of boric acid (equivalent to 102.2 grains per pound), whilst the fluid contained 1.7 per cent. of boric acid (equal to 1,190 grains per gallon). The answer, as regards the third point, depends on a number of considerations which cannot conveniently be discussed in reply to a 654 Question. I may, however, say that the presence in imported kidneys of proportions of boric acid so large as those given above is decidedly objectionable from the point of view of public health, and I am advised that it is wholly unnecessary. I propose to give special attention to imported preserved kidneys in the regulations referred to in the last part of the Question. These regulations are in an advanced state of preparation.