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October 16, 1909

Bacterial Food Poisoning.

JAMA. 1909;LIII(16):1311. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02550160067017

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Dr. Dieudonné maintains the position that most cases of food poisoning are due to the contamination of foods by certain specific bacteria. The Bacillus proteus in particular is incriminated; an arraignment not easy to understand in so far as the proteus bacillus is very extensively distributed, while typical cases of food-poisoning are very rare. Bacillus enteritidis, Bacillus paratyphi and the anaërobic Bacillus botulinus are all carefully discussed and their more or less hypothetical rôle in the production of various forms of food-poisoning explained. Ptomain poisoning by autolysis without the intervention of bacteria is not at all considered. Food intoxication by metallic poisons is declared to be much more rare than commonly assumed, but the facts adduced in favor of this view are rather scanty and the argument not altogether convincing.

Too much space is given to the purely bacteriologic aspect of the question, as for instance the cultural characteristics and

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