This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
A Philadelphia society for the prevention of adulteration, has sent out a list of 35 poisonous colorings, with their common and also their chemical names, warning bakers and confectioners not to use them. They are mostly the colors found in the paint shops, and are mineral, compounds. The principal need of a coloring seems to be for a yellow, to imitate the richness of yolk of eggs in buns and cakes, which contain no eggs. " Notwithstanding all that has been published relative to the poisonous character of chrome yellow as a coloring matter for confectionery, buns, cakes, and pastry, President Amer-ling states that a large number of bakers are still using the stuff. Yesterday he visited five bakeries, each of which does a large business, and in every case chrome yellow was found in use. The proprietor of one of these, a prominent uptown baker, was exceedingly indignant at the appearance of President Amerling, and stoutly denied using the poison. ' Well, what do you use? ' asked the president. ' Why, canary yellow, and that's not poison. I'm not afraid to eat it myself.' The matter, when shown, proved to be nothing else than chrome vel-low. The baker was cautioned not to use it again under pain of prosecution.
He had been reported to the society by a gentleman who stated in a letter that his own family and a number of neighbors had been made sick by eating buns purchased at his bakery".