[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 6, 1974

Trichinosis: From Bismarck to Polar Bears

JAMA. 1974;228(6):735-737. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230310045031

I can still remember an apocryphal tale told by Harold Jeghers. It might be called "The Case of the Embarrassed Rabbi." Of course, it happened in Boston. This orthodox talmudic scholar developed a peculiar malady, ultimately identified as trichinosis! He was a devout man and ate only kosher food. It remained a considerable mystery until a persevering house officer ferreted out the small detail that while making trips to rural communities, this fastidious man always carried his own food. Many times this consisted of chicken prepared commercially under kosher conditions and placed in glass containers. The enterprising resident visited the plant where the food was prepared and ultimately discovered that indeed the chicken, on rare occasions, had been augmented surreptiously with pork! It was a marvelous story; it has remained with me for 28 years.

The recent appearance of a paper about trichinosis among Thai nationals in New York1