Champion of food safety
Henry Heinz was one of the first advocates for food safety and Sebastian Mueller led the charge at the Heinz company's North Side production facility. When they arrived each day at the Heinz factory, the mostly female workers would enter dressing rooms and doff their street clothes for freshly laundered uniforms. (They were, however, required to sew their own uniforms from material bought from the company.) The women were provided with a doctor and dentist at the factory and, if they handled food, were given weekly manicures.
Heinz eventually would appoint his son Howard and Mueller to rally public support for passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. Heinz believed federal regulation was necessary to build consumer trust and to ensure a level playing field for all. The leading force for the law within the Department of Agriculture, Dr. Harvey Wiley, credited the Heinz company with providing crucial support for its passage.
First Published July 27, 2008 12:00 am