Windows and barriers in policy-making: responses to food poisoning in Britain, 1945-1956

French, M. and Phillips, J. (2004) Windows and barriers in policy-making: responses to food poisoning in Britain, 1945-1956. Social History of Medicine, 17(2), pp. 245-260. (doi: 10.1093/shm/17.2.269)

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Public awareness of food poisoning developed significantly in Britain in the 1940s with a rise in recorded incidents, especially of salmonella from 1941. This resulted from a combination of institutional and social changes. New legislation and health provision produced a statistical profile of poisoning; infections spread more rapidly and extensively with the expansion of public and commercial catering; and from 1939, the new Ministry of Food, which drew more scientific and industrial expertise into government service, took a lead in promoting debates about the issue. This article examines the post-war policy debates and how the new data on food poisonings contributed to the policy process. The roles of Sir William Savage and the Catering Trades Working Party are evaluated in light of the observations of Pennington and James about the nature of policy-making. The article shows that the institutional, social, and political pressures for significant regulatory change were resisted by a combination of local and national business and political interests.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:food policy, regulation, food poisoning, catering, business–government relations
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Phillips, Professor Jim and French, Professor Michael
Authors: French, M., and Phillips, J.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
T Technology > TX Home economics
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Social History of Medicine
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1477-4666

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