Contagion by Milk.
Selected writings of John M. Scudder.
CONTAGION BY MILK.—I am well satisfied that there are many causes of disease which may be discovered and removed, and it is as much the physician's duty to look after them as to administer remedies.
Among the most fertile causes is a bad condition of the cellars of houses. Provisions will be kept in places where the air is so filthy that the wonder is, not that it produces disease, but that it does not breed an epidemic. I have eaten at houses where articles of food, otherwise well prepared, had so bad an odor due to bad cellarage that I could not touch them.
It is not only milk that is capable of absorbing these poisons, but various other kinds of food, especially when they are stood in such places after cooking. Much of the stuff sold by our city hucksters is thus tainted. A very common place of storing with them is under the bed, sometimes in dark rooms, and in miserable, dirty cellars. I have purchased sweet potatoes in market in the winter time that developed the catty smell so strongly on baking that the cook was forced to throw them into the garbage barrel.— SCUDDER, Editorial, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1871.