Hamburger thyrotoxicosis refers to ingestion of thyroid hormone from contaminated meat. It is a very rare cause of thyrotoxicosis.
It is most commonly due to the practice of "gullet trimming" whereby muscles from the larynx of the slaughtered animal are ground into other cuts of meat to make hamburgers. The larynx muscles often may include thyroid tissue leading to inadvertent consumption of thyroid hormone 1.
History and etymology
There was a large outbreak of hamburger thyrotoxicosis in Iowa and Minnesota in the USA during 1984-1985 due to this practice 1.
- 1. Hedberg CW, Fishbein DB, Janssen RS, Meyers B, McMillen JM, MacDonald KL, White KE, Huss LJ, Hurwitz ES, Farhie JR. An outbreak of thyrotoxicosis caused by the consumption of bovine thyroid gland in ground beef. (1987) The New England journal of medicine. 316 (16): 993-8. doi:10.1056/NEJM198704163161605 - Pubmed