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March 29, 1930


Author Affiliations

George Williams Hooper Foundation for Medical Research, San Francisco

JAMA. 1930;94(13):1011. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02710390109023

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To the Editor:  —The recently published observations by Huntington Williams (The Journal, March 1) as to cyanide poisoning from hotel silver polish are of significance in relation to the general subject of blood poisoning. The epidemiologist, interested in outbreaks of alleged food poisoning, has long cherished the ambition to isolate the causative bacteria, or demonstrate toxic or poisonous products in the suspected food in every outbreak. Recently J. C. Geiger and K. F. Meyer (Proc. Soc. Exper. Biol. & Med. 26:91 [Nov.] 1928) suggested a simple feeding test with white mice and described certain pathologic conditions considered pathognomonic for food poisoning. Neither the careful health official nor the bacteriologist desires negative or incomplete results. Too often the investigator finds the food destroyed or consumed, and the epidemiologic story must be reconstructed from memory or assumptions of the participants. It has been pointed out, however, that the incubation or time

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