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February 27, 1960


JAMA. 1960;172(9):929-932. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.63020090002011

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Microbial food poisoning is frequently associated with acute illness of short duration. When the physician arrives in response to a telephone call, convalescence may be well under way. Because of the transient nature of the illnesses and the tendency for rapid convalescence, the general practitioner usually has had little opportunity to study them.

Microbial food poisoning falls into two principal categories. The first is one in which the causative microbes grow in a food and elaborate an exotoxin, for example, botulism and staphylococcus food poisoning. The second is one in which the causative living organisms multiply in a food product, and large numbers are required to produce infection. Examples of this group are Salmonella infections and food poisoning from certain streptococci, and from Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens. Many of the viral and infectious agents may be disseminated in foods, but only those associated with gastrointestinal upsets are considered under

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