'Bad habits - to finger the nose', 1947-1955.
© Public Health Laboratory Service / Science & Society Picture Library
One of a series of photographs commisioned in the late 1940s and early 1950s by Dr Betty Hobbs, the Director of the Food Hygiene Laboratory (1947-1975), to act as aids in the teaching of hygiene to caterers. The Food Hygiene Laboratory was part of the new Public Health Laboratory Service within the Ministry of Health, which was started up shortly after the National Health Service was set up. At this time there was a general concern about the adverse effects on health that was created by the increase in communal feeding in British restaurants that had started in wartime, and the resulting potential for food poisoning outbreaks. The Food Hygiene Laboratory prepared various exhibits to educate the catering industry and also took over the laboratory diagnosis of bacteria in food.