RUSSELLVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Alabama Department of Public Health has identified a common thread in the Russellville foodborne outbreak.
Three people who ate at El Patron tested positive for Salmonella. Other potential cases are being investigated.
Salmonella symptoms usually appear within six to 72 hours after infection and most patients recover without treatment.
The two adults who tested positive for the illness were treated at a local hospital, and one is still receiving treatment. Another nine people are being tested for the infection.
ADPH is still investigating gastrointestinal illness in El Patron patrons. Health officials said they don't believe this is an ongoing outbreak and they feel certain they were able to pinpoint the source.
According to James Congleton, the Environmental Director of the ADPH Area 6, the health department conducted inspections on June 11 and 12 in response to complaints. On June 12 they issued an emergency order to cease operations based on a potentially imminent health hazard. He said El Patron was very cooperative, and they will remain closed until the investigation is completed and they have satisfied criteria for the health department. Food and environmental samples were taken for testing.
In their last three Health Department inspections, El Patron received scores of 96, 97, and 99.
Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers recommended that people reduce their risk of Salmonella by avoiding raw or undercooked eggs, poultry or other meats, thoroughly washing produce, and following safe food handling practices during food preparation.
Hand washing, keeping uncooked food away from cooked food, and using clean plates and utensils are some important ways to minimize food contamination.
People should also wash their hands after contact with animals and animal feces.
Symptoms of Salmonella are diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramping and fever.