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February 21, 1920


JAMA. 1920;74(8):530-531. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620080032014

For the fourth time within a few months a highly fatal outbreak of botulism due to ripe olives is recorded in our columns. The article on an outbreak of botulism in New York in The Journal1 this week follows close on the heels of the report of the Memphis outbreak in our "General News" of last week. These added to the outbreaks at Canton, Ohio, and Detroit make a formidable showing.

Three of the four outbreaks appear to have been traced to one brand of olives, packed in southern California, a fact that we believe should be given wide publicity at this time, even if commercial interests suffer. It seems at all events as if all local health authorities should make systematic attempts to find out whether this particular brand of olives is being distributed within their jurisdiction. It is only the part of prudence and good common sense

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