Salmonella apparent culprit in Lucky’s illness outbreak

House-made mayonnaise tests positive for the bacteria, as do at least 9 of those sickened.

Nine people who became ill after eating at Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery tested positive for salmonella, and so did mayonnaise that the restaurant made in-house, local health officials said Monday.

The number of people who complained of being sickened after eating at Lucky’s rose to 77 by Monday, an increase of 17 since Friday, according to John Steele, spokesman for Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County. Those who became ill reported stomach cramps, diarrhea, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

Five people were admitted to hospitals, although health officials said they don’t know whether anyone remains hospitalized. The restaurant shut down Monday, Feb. 29. Health officials expect the number of confirmed salmonella cases to rise as test results are completed, Steele said.

Salmonella bacterial infections can cause gastro-intestinal symptoms between 12 and 72 hours after infection, and the illness usually lasts four to seven days, according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Most people recover without treatment. In rare cases, however, salmonella can be fatal unless the patient is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

Kayti Adams of Dayton told WHIO-TV that she was diagnosed with salmonella. She ate a Cobb Salad at Lucky’s on Feb. 28 and started feeling ill two days later. Her boyfriend, who ate a sandwich, did not get sick.

Adams suffered from vomiting and diarrhea, and her fever reached 102.7 degrees. She sought treatment at the Kettering Medical Center emergency room on Friday and received treatment to help her re-hydrate. The hospital called her Sunday and told her a stool sample had confirmed she had salmonella.

Drew Trick, the owner of Lucky’s, said Monday that the eatery will never make its mayonnaise in-house again. On the tap room’s Facebook page, Trick wrote, “Well, it seems our efforts to source locally and make our food from scratch has failed our customers and ourselves. Know that we are doing all that is possible to rectify the situation and eliminate the chance of this happening again.”

Lucky’s, at 520 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s Oregon District, will remain closed “for an unknown period of time,” Trick wrote, but hopes “to open with a clean bill of health very soon.” The restaurant and craft-beer bar had been gearing up for its 5th anniversary celebration this week.

Health agency spokesman Steele said, “When the restaurant reopens, I think the public should be confident that everything is going to be fine. A food-borne issue like this can happen at any restaurant at any time.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year, about one in six Americans, or 48 million people, get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of food-borne illnesses. CDC estimates that approximately 1.2 million of those illnesses, and about 450 deaths a year, are caused by salmonella.

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