Methemoglobinemia can result from ingestion of nitrite- or nitrate-containing foods. Here, we report a case where an adolescent girl and her father developed clinically significant methemoglobinemia after ingestion of “homemade” beef jerky prepared with sodium nitrate salt purchased at a local grocery store. Both had palpitations, dyspnea, and visible mucosal cyanosis. The daughter had a methemoglobin level of 44.2% and the father's methemoglobin level was 34.2%. Prompt recognition of methemoglobinemia is important for initiating antidotal therapy with methylene blue.
From the *Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI;
†Emergency Health Partners, Muskegon, MI;
‡Illinois Poison Center; and
§Department of Emergency Medicine, Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL.
Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Reprints: Jillian L. Theobald, MD, PhD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).