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Poisonous Potatoes

Poisonous Potatoes image
Parent Issue
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OCR Text

It is not very rare to see serious accidenta happeu by poisoning from the I nse of pofcatoes in places where food is 8upplied by contract, aa in schools, prisons and barracks, and astonishment is expressed that this precious and highly j estimated food stuft' shonld be capable I of doing so ranch damage. It ia well to j know that the potato, even when absolutely sound, contains a certain amount ■ of a vegetable alkaloid called solanine. I The remarkable point is that this 1 anine is muoh more abundant in mer than in winter; wbereasit amounts to .044 per kilogram from November to February, it reachea the figure of .238 in July and August. This evil would not be very great if the production of , the alkaloid were not still further ! creased by the process of germination and putrefaction of the potato. The use of potatoes deteriorated in this way may give rise to cases of poiscningcharacterized by vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dilated pupils, convulsiona and profuse sweating. It is usually in the months of Jnno and Jnly that these accidents occur, at the moment when the potatoes of the preceding year have begun to germinate and rot. The contractors of the above mentioned establishments send these potatoes there, since they have no longer any marketable value, becanse the new potatoes are already large and reduced in price. It is therefore necessary to watch these supplies in a most careful manner and to rofuse potatoes that show any black or softened spots or that have begun to germiuate. As a general thing potatoes used in enting should be as fresh as possible.


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