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February 21, 1920


JAMA. 1920;74(8):516-521. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620080018006

The outbreak of botulism reported here occurred in January, 1920, in an Italian family, living in the Bronx, New York City. The source of the toxin was shown to be a glass jar of factory packed California ripe olives. These olives, consumed as such and also as part of a salad, caused the death of six of the seven members of the family who ate of them. Bacteriologic examination of these olives was carried out by Mr. Paul Orr in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene of the Medical School of Harvard University; Dr. Charles Krumwiede of the Research Laboratories of the New York City Department of Health; the Microbiological Laboratory at Washington, D. C., and Dr. Gettlar of Bellevue Hospital, New York. At the present writing it is known that at least two of these laboratories have been successful in demonstrating the presence of Bacillus botulinus and its

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