✹ About Saturday 22 August 1663 Louise Hudson on 23 Aug 2016 • Link People in Pepys' time believed a lot of old wives takes about food. They thought tomatoes were poisonous, too. There was good reason to be wary of acid foods on lead pewter plates. But having no knowledge of modern science, there were a lot of superstitions around, some reasonable, some not. If someone they know got sick and died after eating a particular food, they would reasonably blame the food. There were no reliable agencies to check the safety of food back then and few could read. It was every man, woman and child for him or herself--and people died like flies.