poisoning at Youngs
strain of salmonella found elsewhere in Ohio
Continuing to search for more information in the recent food poisoning
outbreak at Youngs Jersey Dairy, the Clark County health department
has located two separate food-poisoning incidents elsewhere in Ohio involving
a strain of the salmonella genetically identical to the one found at Youngs.
Two isolated cases in Columbiana County near Pennsylvania and one in Ross
County were presented last September and October and involve the salmonella
typhimurium connected with Youngs, the health departments
lead sanitarian Dennis Propes said.
Health officials, however, are uncertain whether the bacteria traveled
from Columbiana and Ross Counties to Youngs. Also, health officials
are still unclear as to how the bacteria got to Youngs.
Youngs by all evidence is the cause of this outbreak [in Clark
and surrounding counties], Propes said. But were trying
to see if theres a link between Youngs and these other places
[in Columbiana and Ross counties].
The number of people infected with the bacteria found at Youngs
is up to 50, as of Monday, Jan. 6, Propes said.
Three weeks ago the skim milk bottled at Youngs on Nov. 29, tested
positive for salmonella. Since then, all the milking cows have been tested.
The results have come back negative. No other milk or food products tested
so far have been contaminated, according to a health department press
release dated Jan. 3.
The bacteria can spread from person to person and from place to place
through fecal matter contact of any kind, Propes said. A person carrying
the bacteria in his or her stool may not always present symptoms, such
as abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever or vomiting. But the bacteria can still
be transmitted to others even months after a person is contaminated.
According to Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson, one of
the cases in Columbiana County testing positive in September was still
shedding the bacteria in December, three months later. Though there is
no known antibiotic treatment for salmonella poisoning, generally the
body gets rid of it within three to five weeks of contamination, he said.
Each person who tested positive for salmonella is being tested every week
until two consecutive tests come back negative, Patterson said.
Tests showed that three Youngs employees who originally tested positive
last month no longer have the bacteria.
Health officials are still investigating an additional 18 suspected cases,
and of the businesss 200 employees, a handful are still waiting
to be tested. The number of employees testing positive for salmonella
is up to 16 people this week from 13 last week, including people from
all aspects of the business, Propes said.
Youngs has been adversely affected by the food poisoning outbreak.
Obviously this extended media coverage has affected our business
significantly, Youngs CEO Dan Young said Monday.
But the business is not giving up hope. Over Martin Luther King weekend,
January 1720, Youngs will celebrate the 134th anniversary
of its dairy farm.
Were acting half our age by offering ice cream cones for 67
cents, cheeseburgers for 67 cents, miniature golf and buckets of golf
balls all for 67 cents, Young said.
The red barn at Youngs was built 134 years ago by a relative of
the Young family, and the dairy has been in operation since the early
1900s, he said.
We havent had a birthday party before, and this will be a
fun thing for us to do, he said. Hopefully this [contamination
incident] will all be behind us soon.