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April 14, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(15):1080-1084. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270040068002

While the bacterial examination of water in this country has led for some years past to fairly uniform results and has given information of the highest value for estimating the sanitary quality of a water, the bacterial examination of foods and its interpretation have been followed in many cases by a conflict of competent opinion and by a confusion of official and semiofficial rulings that have caused some bewilderment. A brief survey of the situation may be useful in drawing attention to certain points at issue.

It will be recognized that the value of bacterial food examination has definite limits. Actual discovery of pathogenic bacteria in food is a rare occurrence, and in particular cases may have little or no practical significance. Few workers would think of advocating a routine bacterial examination for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not specific articles of food can safely be eaten. Milk, the

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