Mr. Sargent to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Berlin, March 24, 1884. (Received April 7.)
Sir: I find an article in the Berliner Tageblatt of the 23d instant, which I translate below, which shows that the German Government is at last on the track of the real danger in the consumption of pork, and earnestly recommends by circular to the people through cooking to “exclude all danger of deleterious results.” The circular gives the statistics of sickness and death at Emersleben, and other places, and is very impressive in its statements. There can be no doubt that if the advice thus given is followed, all danger from the consumption of any pork will be removed.
The article says:
The reports upon the trichinosis epidemic which raged towards the close of last year in Emersleben and vicinity, within the Magdeburg district, having been received at the ministry of education, a circular note, according to the “Magdeburger Gazette,” was last month addressed to all provincial administrations, as well as to the Berlin police presidency, in which, after giving statistical reports upon the epidemic, it renews the warning against the unwholesome and often fatal practice of eating raw pork. The meat of a single pig killed on the 12th September last at Emersleben caused the terrible epidemic there, as well as at Deesdorf and Nienhagen, and which produced the death of 66 persons out of 503 cases of disease. Of these, 270 cases, with 53 deaths, fell to Emersleben; 45, and 10 deaths, to Deesdorf; and 80, with 1 death, to Nienhagen. Besides, 4 cases and 2 deaths were reported from Grönigen, 3 cases in the convent at Grönigen, and 1 case at Schwanbeck. In this connection it is worthy of note that all persons who consumed 125 grams of raw pork invariably died, and that all the deceased had, as was discovered, eaten the pork raw—a practice largely indulged in in the province of Saxony. Whether and to what degree the meat inspectors in question are responsible for the fatal accident, has not yet been ascertained. [Page 194] In view of these sad events, the ministry of education, &c., considered it of vital importance to repeatedly and earnestly warn the public against the consumption of raw pork. It therefore considers it appropriate to advise that in preparing pork for food, it be thoroughly boiled or roasted, and thereby exclude all danger of deleterious results. The authorities are to adopt the necessary measures to this end.
I have, &c.,