The Dayton Daily News is reporting that the Salmonella outbreak linked to Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery in Dayton, OH may have been caused by homemade mayonnaise. The Dayton and Montgomery County Health Department says that the house-made mayonnaise tested positive for Salmonella. The number of people who have been sickened in that outbreak increased to 77 from 60 since Friday March 4, 2016. Five people were admitted to hospitals as a result of their illnesses. Officials do not know if anyone who was sickened is still in the hospital.
The restaurant closed on Monday, February 29, 2016, and no date has been set for re-opening. Officials think that the number of illnesses will increase as more tests are completed.
Mayonnaise made from scratch is made with raw eggs. And raw eggs are a risk factor for Salmonella infections, since the bacteria can actually live inside a hen’s ovaries and can easily contaminate eggs with pathogenic bacteria from the inside.
The CDC states that “shell eggs are safest when stored in the refrigerator, individually and thoroughly cooked, and promptly consumed after cooking. Cooking reduces the number of bacteria present in an egg; however, a lightly cooked egg with a runny egg white or yolk still poses a greater risk than a thoroughly cooked egg. Lightly cooked egg whites and yolks have both caused outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections. Eggs should be thoroughly cooked until both the yolk and white are firm. Recipes containing eggs mixed with other foods should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.”
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pains. The symptoms usually begin six to seventy-two hours after exposure to the bacteria. Most people recover within about two to seven days without medical intervention, but some people become so ill, especially with dehydration, that they are hospitalized.
This infection also has long term health consequences. Some people can develop Reiter’s Syndrome, which causes reactive arthritis that can last for years. Other health problems can include high blood pressure and irritable bowel syndrome.
If you ate at Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery in Dayton, Ohio in February 2016 and have experienced these symptoms, please see your doctor. This illness should be recorded on your medical chart just in case other health problems that may be related to it appear in the future.