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of diseased meat cases before magistrates, the stage at which the disease has arrived, and also the nature of the disease, are considered as important items in judging the case; how far the magistrates are correct in so doing, I am not prepared to state. This much may, however, be said, that with a case with sufficient proof of a diseased carcase of meat the inspector is perfectly justified in taking the opinion of the magistrates upon it, and let them decide upon the merits of the case.
As to the modes of detecting diseased meat, the following remarks will be found useful:
1st. Bad meat never or very rarely sets or stiffens properly. This is an excellent guide; but, of course, open to certain objections.
2nd. Bad meat is generally wet, in fact, often completely soddened with water, especially when caused by dropsy.
3rd. The fat in bad meat will be found of a flabby nature, instead of being crisp, dry, and firm.
The colour in certain cases may be a guide, but I decline to go into that for fear of confusing the inexperienced, considering the variety of causes which produce slight alteration of colour.
It will answer the convenience of the inspector and the ends of justice will be better met if he will contrive to make his seizures before the carcase leaves the slaughter-house; by this method he will avail himself of certain advantages which are to be gained in seeing the meat in carcase preferable to seeing it in joints. There
(a) Search warrant for unsound food in the metropolis: see section 55, Sanitary Law Amendment Act, 1874.
will, of course, at times, arise cases where the diseased meat will never enter the slaughter-house, but will during the night come direct from the farm where death has relieved the suffering animal from some lingering disease. There are only a certain class of butchers who venture in this dangerous traffic, who may be selected out if the inspector makes himself a regular attender at the cattle markets.
In this work, and this alone, will the inspector (of a moderate-sized borough) be able to give the ratepayers of his district full value for the money he receives in salary, if he succeeds in putting an entire stop to the sale of the diseased rubbish which is sold in some districts.
I now propose to direct the attention of the reader to two letters which I received respecting a bad meat case in my experience, which will be found to be of great value, coming as they do from so high an authority, each of the gentlemen having kindly given me their consent to my making this use of them.
PROFESSOR WILLIAMS' LETTER.
Veterinary College, Edinburgh,
17th November, 1876.
Mr. Robinson, Inspector, Carlisle.
Agreeably with your request I examined a carcase of beef at the shambles, Carlisle, and found that the animal had been slaughtered whilst suffering from tuberculosis.
Whilst I am of opinion that mere tubercular growths or "grapes" do not, if carefully removed, render the meat unfit for food, provided such meat presents a healthy, firm appearance; on the other hand, if the meat be flabby and the fat of the areolar tissue removed and replaced by a watery material, it (the meat) is unfit for human food. This was to some extent the condition of the carcase in question.
It may be stated that the red flesh, or muscular tissue, had a fair appearance, and was in some parts moderately firm to the touch; whilst in other parts, such as the breast and belly (the defendant parts of the body), it was pale in appearance, dropsical and flabby to the touch.
In consequence of part of the body being moderately healthy, it is possible that there might be difference of opinion as to whether the carcase should be condemned or not; however, after carefully weighing the matter, I am of opinion that the meat is unfit for human food.
W. WILLIAMS, P.R.S.S., Professor.
DR. YOUNG'S LETTER.
Veterinary College, Edinburgh,
November 24th, 1876.
At Professor Williams' request, I give you a short sketch of the evidence I would be prepared to give with regard to the cow which is the subject of dispute. I examined a growth said to have been cut
out of the chest of the cow, and found scattered through it masses of tubercle, varying in size from a pin's head to a walnut. These tubercular deposits were old, as shown by their yellow colour and the large growth by the calcareous matter in their interior. The tissue in which the masses were embedded was soft and pulpy, and, on microscopical examination, was found to be infiltrated with lymphous corpuscles. The condition shows that around the old tubercular masses, that new active cell growths had arisen which I had no hesitation in saying would be attended with a general deterioration of the condition of the animal; this deterioration consisting in absorption and wasting of the tissue, more particularly the fatty and muscular tissue, so that the flesh would become pale, flabby, and watery, and unfit for human food. If you think the above evidence would be of any use, please let me know per telegram, as I would require to leave here on Sunday evening to be back again on the following evening.
I am, yours sincerely,
PETER YOUNG, M.D.
The first step the inspector must take on making a seizure of bad meat or other unsound food, will be to thoroughly satisfy himself as to its being unfit for food, by calling in such evidence along with the medical officer of health, as the case may require. Having made the seizure, have it carefully stored in safe custody, that is, in your bad meat depôt. Next proceed to call in a magistrate to grant you an order for its destruction, intimating to the owner of the meat
your intention to make such application for an order to destroy.
After obtaining the order, give the owner further intimation that you are going to put the order into execution, by destroying the meat or other article; and also give him reasonable opportunity to have it examined by competent persons, whom he may require to call as witnesses when you summon him to appear before the magistrates.