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JAMA 100 Years Ago
October 5, 2005


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(13):1705. doi:10.1001/jama.294.13.1705-b

It is commonly said that every man must eat his peck of dirt. If the truth were known, this might be found a very mild statement. Some of us are unconsciously habitual dirt eaters. If we could inspect the places where our food is prepared, many of us would require powerful appetites to meet the occasion. This is particularly true of those who have to depend more or less on public eating places. While there are undoubtedly clean restaurant kitchens, there are a very great many more that are far from meeting the simplest requirements of tidiness and sanitation. Of course, the most comfortable thing to do is to eat what is set before one and ask no questions, but the possibilities for reform should not be neglected. The suggestion that municipal authorities inspect and enforce proper cleanliness and sanitary requirements in public restaurants is well worthy of attention. Moreover, the reform ought to be easy. If it were known which restaurants are worthy of public patronage in this respect, they would be likely to get it to the disadvantage of those who are not. There is a wide field for reform here not only in the methods and material outfit of these establishments, but also in their personnel.