Opaque whiteness: milk regulation and the introduction of food controls in Queensland

Paper


Colclough, Gillian. 2009. "Opaque whiteness: milk regulation and the introduction of food controls in Queensland." Q150 Conference: Journeys through Queensland History: Landscape, Place and Society . St. Lucia, Australia 03 - 04 Sep 2009 Brisbane, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

Opaque whiteness: milk regulation and the introduction of food controls in Queensland

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorColclough, Gillian
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the Professional Historians Association Queensland Conference: Marking the Sesquicentenary of Queensland 1859-2009:Journeys through Queensland History: Landscape, Place and Society
Number of Pages18
Year2009
Place of PublicationBrisbane, Australia
ISBN9780646519197
Conference/EventQ150 Conference: Journeys through Queensland History: Landscape, Place and Society
Event Details
Q150 Conference: Journeys through Queensland History: Landscape, Place and Society
Event Date
03 to end of 04 Sep 2009
Event Location
St. Lucia, Australia
Abstract

This paper maps the Queensland government’s early approaches to food controls. As comprehension of the role of microbes in disease grew in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many disease germs were found in foods likely to be consumed by small children. Unacceptable child mortality rates and connections between ideas of racial and public health motivated governments to introduce food safety standards. Racial concerns were particularly strong in Queensland where long-term white population growth seemed a vital issue. As such, the government moved swiftly after Federation to ratify regulations enforcing food-borne disease control measures intended to protect the health of its white working and middle classes. While referring to several disease concerns, this paper gives special attention to bovine tuberculosis because of the prominence of milk (deemed a racial food) in infant and child diets. Using oral references to dairying and household milk production it demonstrates the ways in which ordinary people handled milk products before the availability of domestic refrigeration. Combining these accounts with official records, it reveals the Queensland government’s efficiency in convincing manufacturers and public to adopt modern food handling techniques in times when racial fears reinforced the need to protect Queensland’s most vulnerable citizens.

Keywordsmilk-analysis; milk microbiology; women; health and hygiene; North Queensland
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420603. Health promotion
429999. Other health sciences not elsewhere classified
430302. Australian history
Public Notes

No evidence of copyright restrictions preventing deposit.

Byline AffiliationsLearning and Teaching Support Unit
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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