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July 8, 1983

The Dangers of Cooking With Bay Leaves

Author Affiliations

Wilmington Medical Center Wilmington, Del

JAMA. 1983;250(2):164-165. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340020016012

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To the Editor.—  In a recent issue of The Journal (1983;249:729), an interesting letter was brought to my attention. It recounts the case histories of a patient who experienced a ruptured Meckel's diverticulum and of another who experienced severe rectal pain, with the causative agent being the villainous bay leaf. It seems that I am a more fortunate victim of this "deadly" condiment. I am currently a firstyear family practice resident. Back in October 1982,I happened to be on call for the final night of my general surgery rotation. That evening I was ravenous after spending all day in the operating room. Chicken cacciatore was the feature at the hospital cafeteria. As I eagerly swallowed my first (and only) bite, to my dismay, what felt like a small chicken bone had lodged in my throat. Despite my repeated attempts to dislodge the thing, it would not budge in either direction.