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To the Editor.—
The editorial on "Diphyllobothriasis" in The Journal (1981;246:2483), reminded me of a special group of patients who were susceptible to this condition. A Dr Cameron, professor of parasitology at McGill University, Montreal, about four decades ago, described several patients with fish tapeworm in a unique patient population. He discovered the tapeworm in women of the orthodox Jewish faith who made their own gefilte fish (a well-known dish of the Kosher cuisine).The problem occurred with the use of pickerel and northern pike that were filleted, then chopped by hand in a wooden bowl, and the extra ingredients added slowly as the chopping process continued. During the course of adding the seasonings and condiments, the women would taste the raw mixture at frequent intervals and thus be liable to ingest a live tapeworm.I recall my mother making gefilte fish, but she did not taste it until it
Loeb LJ. Gefilte Fish and Diphyllobothriasis. JAMA. 1982;247(11):1566. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320360018020