The Local Implementation of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875

Brian, Janet Margaret (2006). The Local Implementation of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875. PhD thesis The Open University.



This thesis investigates the implementation at local level of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875. The Act, an important milestone in food reform, was introduced in an attempt to control the adulteration of food, drink and drugs which previous legislation had failed to achieve.

At central government level, the Local Government Board was responsible for overall administration of the Act, while daily implementation was the responsibility of local governing bodies. The success of the 1875 Act therefore depended on effective local implementation. Key to the Act was the collection of samples from retailers by designated inspectors and the analysis of these samples by official public analysts. Local authorities were responsible for the appointment of public analysts and inspectors and other aspects of the daily working of the Act. The way these responsibilities were discharged had a very real effect on the outcome of the legislation.

Many local authorities failed to implement the Act and the Local Government Board proved ineffective in enforcing compliance. Public analysts and inspectors were also hampered in the daily administration of the Act by many practical constraints, as a result the effectiveness of the 1875 Sale of Food and Drugs Act has to be re-evaluated.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions