To the Editor.—
I have discovered thermophilic actinomycetes (Thermoactinomyces) growing in 66% of frost-free home refrigerators surveyed. Samples were taken from the drip pans of 230 refrigerators from homes in Indiana, New Jersey, and Illinois. Thermoactinomyces, which is a known cause of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (farmer's lung), readily produces millions of spores during growth.More recently, I have isolated Thermoactinomyces from warm moist dirt at the outside bottom of a home freezer. Previously, Thermoactinomyces was found by others in overheated hay, grain, and bagasse, as well as in home heating systems and humidifiers. I suggest cleaning the drip pan with detergent once a month.
Becker B. Thermoactinomyces in Refrigerators. JAMA. 1976;236(4):344. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270040010002
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: