Children enjoying hokey-pokey — what we know as ice cream — from a pushcart in a London working-class distruct. Even these simple pleasures could prove dangerous in the Victorian age, for, as Anthony S. Whol has pointed out, the London County Council Medical Officer discovered the following in samples of ice cream: cocci, bacilli, torulae, cotton fiber, lice, bed bugs, bug's legs, fleas, straw, human hair, and cat and dog hair. Such contaminated ice cream caused diphtheria, scarlet fever, diarrhoea, and enteric fever (52-53).

Related Material


Bentley, Nicolas. The Victorian Scene: 1837-1901. London: Spring Books, 1971, p. 100.

Wohl, Anthony S. Endangered Lives: Public Health in Victorian Britain. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983.

Last modified 6 April 2016