Kingston City Commissioner’s Diary, 1885-1889
The note above comes from the Kingston City Commissioner’s daily diary from 1885-1889. One of the responsibilities of the city was to protect the quality and value of the food sold within the City. Specifically, the note relates to the regular bread inspections that took place around the city. Bread in the Victorian period, was moving away from being a home cooked staple and was becoming a purchased item more and more, particularly in cities. The inspectors in this report appear to be concerned predominantly with the weight of bread. Bakers often baked underweight bread in order to save money. Bakers were also often accused of more harmful actions than producing light loaves. Inspections were also carried out to see if the flour had perhaps been cut with alum, sulphate of copper, bone dust or chalk, that was added to stretch the four. The responsibility for food safety is still something that the City is involved with.