1899 - 1800United States of America

In 1881 at the International Medical Congress held in London, Hart, who was then President of the British Medical Association, gave an influential paper that sketched a decade’s worth of epidemiological research that linked typhoid fever, scarlet fever, and diphtheria to milk. He had a professional interest in giving the talk because he sought to communicate vital British epidemiological research to an international audience. It was presaged, however, by personal experience on the part of Hart with what was perhaps the most well-known milk-borne outbreak in the Victorian era in 1873. In that year Hart’s family, along with several of his closest medical colleague’s families, including Charles Murchison and William Jenner were struck with a particularly severe outbreak of typhoid. Looking back, in 1881 Hart wrote that Radcliffe’s 1873 Marylebone investigation “made so clear that the then sceptics became perforce converted to a belief in milk infection. The demonstration of this infection has indeed, by this [1881] time become so complete in this country, that its acceptance has now become practically universal.” In 1897 Hart produced an expanded version of his 1881 address, listing all of the milk-borne epidemiological studies from the 1870s to the late 1890s.



  • Ernest Hart, “The Influence of Milk in Spreading Zymotic Disease,” in Transactions of the International Medical Congress, 7th session, 3 (London: J.W. Kolckmann, 1881), 491-505.
  • Horace Swete, “Milk Adulteration,” Sanitary Record (14 August 1875), 118.
  • Ernest Hart, “The Influence of Milk in Spreading Zymotic Disease,” BMJ (8 May, 15 May, and 22 May, 1897)