Under this title an interesting article by Thurman B. Rice, M.D., was published in the July issue of the Monthly Bulletin of the Indiana State Board of Health. Dr. Rice tells us that it is customary in the U.S.A. for the Boards of Health to require certificates of health from all food handlers, and that a conscientious examiner would even refuse to issue a certificate if the applicant had eczematous hands or open sores on the hands or face. This seems a most excellent precaution and one which might well be studied with due consideration in this country. Unfortunately, certain unscrupulous physicians apparently overcome the inconvenience of giving a thorough examination, and cases are known where 140 blanks, certifying that as many persons were free from all transmissible disease, were signed in two hours—and also where pads of blanks have been signed and the names filled in later by the restaurant manager as employees began to work. After referring to the care and cleanliness required in the preparation of the food itself, Dr. Rice points out that, should a case of food poisoning occur, the health authorities should be informed immediately and all suspected foods should be interned and kept in a condition which will guarantee as little change as possible—usually refrigeration at a very low temperature. The layman, on hearing of a case of food poisoning, is very prone to suspect those articles of food consumed at the last previous meal—while the significant article may have been eaten a day, or more, before—or, in the case of typhoid fever, two weeks before. Dr. Rice continues by telling us that we should always remain in the most jovial of moods at the dining table, and that causes for anger, fear, disgust, or any other unpleasant major emotion should be avoided. Also complaining, nagging criticism and sarcastic remarks at the table are most injurious to the flow of the gastric juice. We refrain from comment upon the effect of the restaurant orchestra, which has at times, we feel sure, been the cause of much “ criticism and sarcastic remarks ”; also the most careful and jovial diner (even after reading Dr. Rice's article) surely cannot fail to stimulate a little “anger” at the waiter who served the latecomers at the adjoining table before his good self? As a means of preventing epidemics from food sources, Dr. Rice recommends cleanliness, character, intelligence and good health in the workers; adequate equipment, alertness and supervision from the management; and the practice of the principles of the modern science and art of epidemiology in the board of health.
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