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October 26, 1912


Author Affiliations

Professor of Biology and Public Health in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology BOSTON

JAMA. 1912;LIX(17):1509-1511. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270100277004

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Some years ago it was seriously proposed to test the purity and salubrity of drinking-waters by means of animal inoculation. Portions of the water to be examined were cultivated in sterilized bouillon at the body temperature, and the resulting cultures after a stated time were inoculated into guinea-pigs, rats or other test animals. If these sickened or died the water was condemned. Fortunately, since some sense of humor still remained among sanitarians, a proposition so absurd was soon laughed out of court. From time to time, however, this discredited "test" is again gravely brought forward even for water, but more often nowadays for some other form of food or drink, such as eggs, oysters, ice-cream, gelatin, catchup, etc. One of the latest examples—but probably not the last—of such proposed employment of it is for frozen eggs, attacked originally because of alleged "decomposition" as indicated chiefly by

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