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UPDATE: Restaurant’s house-made mayo implicated in outbreak

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UPDATED CONTENT 3:30 p.m. EST

A Dayton, OH, micro brewery and restaurant will remain closed until further notice, its owner said Monday after health officials reported house-made mayonnaise at Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery tested positive for Salmonella.

At least 20 of 80 people reported sickened in an outbreak linked to the restaurant have been confirmed by lab analysis to have Salmonella infections, according to an update today from officials with Public Health of Dayton & Montgomery.

The case count increased by 20 people from Friday to today. Five of the victims have required hospitalization. Illness onset dates are from Feb. 22 through Feb. 28.

House-made mayonnaise from the restaurant tested positive for Salmonella. Avocado and goat cheese were both negative for Salmonella, according to today’s update, which indicated the investigation is concluded.

“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. … Public 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,” said Jennifer Wentzel, director of environmental health, said in the update.

Additional cases are likely to be confirmed because of lag time between onset of symptoms and receipt of confirmation lab results by public health officials. Health officials said in a March 3 statement they received the first complaints about illness possibly linked to Lucky’s on Feb. 29. They inspected the restaurant that day.

Drew Trick, owner of Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery, voluntarily closed his doors Feb. 29 when health officials told him about the reports of patrons becoming ill. He was amidst preparations for the restaurant’s fifth anniversary, which is this week.

Lucky's Taproom & Eatery includes photos of its field garden and this rooftop garden on its Facebook page to show patrons where some of the restaurant's menu items are grown.

Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery includes photos of its field garden and this rooftop garden on its Facebook page to show patrons where some of the restaurant’s menu items are grown.

Trick acknowledged responsibility for the Salmonella outbreak Monday afternoon in a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“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,” Trick said in the Facebook post.

“Being that it is very early in the investigation we are awaiting more details than what is being offered by the mainstream media. That being said we are prolonging our closure for an unknown period of time. We thank you all for your support and hope to open with a clean bill of health very soon,” he added.

Trick’s Facebook post was met with dozens of supportive messages from patrons of his restaurant, with one person observing that anytime anyone dines out they run the risk of contracting a foodborne illness.

The county health agency spokesman had a similar comment for the Dayton Daily News.

“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 Daily News reported county spokesman John Steele said.

Salmonella bacteria causes about 1.2 million foodborne illnesses in the U.S. annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The micro organism causes about 450 deaths every year.

People with salmonella infections usually have symptoms within 12 to 72 hours of exposure. Symptoms most often include stomach cramps, diarrhea, headache, nausea and vomiting.

The CDC reports 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.

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