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July 2, 1982

Gefilte Fish and Diphyllobothriasis

Author Affiliations

Women & Infants Hospital Providence, RI

JAMA. 1982;248(1):30. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330010014011

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To the Editor.—  I read the letter from Dr Loeb on gefilte fish and diphyllobothriasis (1982;247:1566). It was my late uncle, Dr Milton Plotz, who first described this association in the pages of The Journal just 50 years ago (1932;98:312).While a resident in internal medicine at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, my uncle had as patients two middleaged Jewish women with unquestionable diphyllobothriasis, who vehemently (and somewhat disgustedly) denied ever eating raw fish. While puzzling over the occurrence of such an obscure infestation in such a familiar population, he happened to observe his mother preparing gefilte fish in their apartment. He idly asked her, "How do you know when it tastes right?" She replied, "I take a little pinch, like this," and popped some of the mixture into her mouth. A light flashed in my uncle's mind and, of course, it turned out that his patients had been tasting their gefilte