1. From the Municipal abattoir, specimens of liver, spleen, lymph node, surface meat, bile and faeces from a sheep and a bovine, were examined fortnightly for 14 months for the presence of possible pathogenic bacteria. The results suggest that slaughtering procedures are satisfactory.
2. Offal, consisting mainly of tripe and intestine, is eaten in large quantities by the Bantu population and is both nutritious and economical. The high incidence of salmonella isolations in the tripe (48%) and intestines (29%), and faecal E. coli and Cl. welchii, show that this commodity is distributed in an inadequately cleansed condition.
3. Faecal E. coli was isolated from 86% of samples of sour milk collected from street pedlars.
4. Dog faeces collected from the township pavements yielded 21% salmonellas, and faeces from fowls sold live by shopkeepers 14%.
5. From the offal specimens, S. typhimurium (23%) and S. london (18%) were the salmonella types most frequently isolated. S. dublin was isolated on only one occasion.
6. Throughout the survey no shigellas were isolated.
7. The significance of the Cl. welchii, coagulase positive Staphylococcus aureus and B. cereus isolations from the various specimens tested is not known.
8. It is emphasized that although there is a definite need for improved treatment of the offal before distribution to the consumer, the resulting increase in cost must not be such as to deprive the population of this important source of protein.
We wish to thank the Director of this Institute, Professor J. H. S. Gear, for permission to publish this paper, Dr P. J. Meara, Director of the City of Johannesburg Abattoir and Livestock Market Department for facilities granted, and Mr C. J. Franklin for collecting all the abattoir specimens. Our thanks are also due to Dr A. Smith, Medical Officer of Health, and Dr I. H. F. Spencer of the Johannesburg City Health Department for help and advice; to Mr A. J. MacG. Bryce for collecting all the specimens from the Soweto township; to Mrs Leonie Jonk for typing the salmonella organisms and Mr R. G. Robinson for investigating the micro-organisms' sensitivity to antibiotics.