Sir William Savage (1873 - 1961)
As aleading figure in preventative medicine, Sir William Savagewas passionate about promoting food hygiene, nutrition and environmental standards for improved public health. Born in Somerset in 1873, he went on to study at University College Hospital in London. After qualifying in 1896 Savage went on to hold a number of academic posts as a bacteriologist and pathologist.
As well as establishing the relationship between various salmonella types and food-poisoning, his early studies also demonstrated that domestic animals and vermin were the main reservoirs of these bacteria.
A strong advocate of milk pasteurization and passionate about the hygiene of milk and food, Savage acted as chairman of the working party on hygiene in catering establishments. His publications include Milk and the Public Health (1912), Bacteriological Examination of Food and Water (1914), Canned Foods in Relation to Health (Milroy Lectures, 1923) and The Prevention of Human Tuberculosis of Bovine Origin (1929).
In 1909 Savage became the first county medical officer of health of Somerset, a post he retained until his retirement in 1937. During this time he raised awareness of the importance of adequate environmental standards in the promotion of public health. He remained active throughout his retirement until his death in 1961, aged 87.