Seminar: Professor Anne Hardy: 'Eats shoots, and heaves: Salad, science, and medicine, 1870-2000'
Seminar with Professor Anne Hardy, Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Bagged salads have recently had a bad health press in Britain, but concerns around the ability of salad vegetables and fruit to transmit pathogenic bacteria are much older. Modern understandings food poisoning largely focus on meat and poultry products, but recent evidence suggests that garden produce is at least as likely to cause significant outbreaks on a domestic, local, and international scale. This paper traces the emergence of health concerns around garden produce, from Victorian fears over watercress consumption, through the changing food consumption patterns of the twentieth century, to the new scientific techniques and mechanisms which now permit the minute tracing of outbreak origin, and the elucidation of complex, and often international, landscapes of foodborne infection.