If additional evidence were needed of the connection between food supply and the spread of infectious disease, it would be found in a report recently presented to the Finsbury Borough Council by its Medical Officer of Health, Dr. GEORGE NEWMAN. It appears that in the early part of May a number of cases of scarlet fever were notified to Dr. NEWMAN, and upon inquiry being made it was ascertained that nearly the whole of these cases had partaken of milk from a particular dairy. A most painstaking investigation was at once instituted, and the source of the supply was traced to a farm in the Midlands, where two or three persons were found recovering from scarlet fever. The wholesale man in London, to whom the milk was consigned, at first denied that any of this particular supply had been sent to shops in the Finsbury district, but it was eventually discovered that one, or possibly two, churns had been delivered one morning, with the result that a number of persons contracted the disease. One of the most interesting points in Dr. NEWMAN'S report is that three of these cases, occurring in one family, received milk from a person who was not a customer of the wholesale dealer mentioned above. It transpired on the examination of this last retailer's servants that on the particular morning on which the infected churn of milk had been sent into Finsbury, one of them, running short, had borrowed a quart from another milkman, and had immediately delivered it at the house in which these three cases subsequently developed. The quantity he happened to borrow was a portion of the contents of the infected churn.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 1901