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June 5, 1937

AN OUTBREAK OF BOTULISM IN WYOMING: CAUSED BY EATING HOME-CANNED WILD MUSHROOMS

Author Affiliations

COKEVILLE, WYO.; KEMMERER, WYO.; DENVER

From the Department of Bacteriology and Public Health, University of Colorado School of Medicine and Hospitals, Denver.

JAMA. 1937;108(23):1961-1964. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780230021006
Abstract

The possibility of dying after eating certain species of mushrooms is so well known that probably few people partake of these delectable comestibles without harboring at least a subconscious thought that perhaps a mistake has been made in the identification, for which they may pay with their very lives. It is a curious fact that in all the literature on mushroom poisoning summarized by Ford,1 Damon2 and Jordan,3 one finds no reference to outbreaks which might have been due to botulism, and in all the literature on botulism we have found only one outbreak due to mushrooms, although Bachman in 1919 "isolated an organism from home-canned mushrooms which was morphologically and culturally like Clostridium botulinum" and which, "grown in meat, produced a toxin which when fed to chickens produced symptoms similar to limberneck."4

An actual outbreak of human botulism was ascribed to mushrooms by Meyer5

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