The Salmonella outbreak associated with eating at Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery in Dayton, Ohio has been updated by the Dayton & Montgomery County Public Health department. As of Tuesday, March 8, 2106, eighty people have complained of illness. Twenty people have tested positive for Salmonella, and five people have been admitted to area hospitals.
Mayonnaise collected at the restaurant has tested positive for Salmonella. Two other foods that were tested for the pathogenic bacteria, avocado and goat cheese, both tested negative for Salmonella.
Public Health got stool samples from ill customers and employees and three food samples from the restaurant. The Ohio Department of Health Laboratory tested the samples to discover whether there was a link between people who ate at the restaurant and became sick and the food that was consumed. The report states that “the epidemiological evidence, the positive food sample and the positive human samples are consistent with a foodborne outbreak.”
Jennifer Wentzel, Public Health’s Environmental Health Director said in a statement, “although we can’t say with certainty how this unfortunate outbreak happened, it underscores the importance of all aspects of practicing proper food safety, both in restaurants and at home. We are notifying all positive cases and providing follow-up instructions. Pubic Health will do a walkthrough of the facility before Lucky’s reopens to make sure the facility is clean, sanitized, and safe for the public going forward.”
Homemade mayonnaise is usually made with raw eggs, which are a known risk factor for Salmonella illnesses. If the restaurant, which made the mayonnaise in question, used raw eggs, that may be the source of the Salmonella that sickened people.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually begin 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria. Most people are sick for about a week, and most recover without medical treatment, although long term complications are possible even after a mild infection.
But some people, such as the five who were hospitalized, may suffer from dehydration or develop a bacterial infection that requires intensive medical treatment. People who are over age 65, those with chronic illnesses, and people with compromised immune systems are usually much sicker when they contract this infection.
To avoid foodborne illness and protect yourself, follow these rules. Never prepare food or serve food to anyone if you are sick, especially with a diarrheal illness. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling food and while you are preparing food, especially foods such as raw eggs, meats, poultry, and seafood. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, after changing diapers, and after caring for someone who is sick. Always check the final internal temperature of cooked foods with a food thermometer and make sure the food reaches a safe temperature. Never leave perishable foods out of refrigeration longer than two hours, or one hour if the air temperature is above 90°F. Finally, avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meats, eggs, poultry, and seafood away from foods that will be eaten raw or foods that have already been cooked.