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April 13, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(15):1455-1456. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810150041012

The extent to which disease germs are disseminated in public eating and drinking places, such as restaurants, lunch rooms and beverage "parlors," is a matter of public concern. Numerous organisms, such as hemolytic streptococci, pneumococci and diphtheria bacilli, have been discovered on tableware and hand-washed dishes. A recent report1 confirms the value of chlorine as a sterilizing agent.

A bacteriologic survey was made in the town of Peterboro, Ont., of eighteen, mostly small, public places in which food or beverages were dispensed. All but three had double metal sinks. All used towels for drying purposes. Bacteriologic specimens were obtained by rubbing sterile swabs at least three times over the entire area of spoons, forks and tumblers that would come in contact with the user's mouth. These specimens were taken after the noon or evening "rush" period after the utensils had been washed and made ready for use. Samples of

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