The Salmonella outbreak in Corinth has now been pinned on a single restaurant, so there is no threat to the general public in northeast Mississippi, the state health department advises.
But the Don Julio Mexican Restaurant in Corinth, MS is closed indefinitely after 59 of its customers and employees have returned cultures positive for Salmonella.
“Our investigation has shown that the incident does not appear to be a food producer or supplier issue,” Dr. Jessie R. Taylor, the Northeast Mississippi District health officer, said in a news release. “It appears to be an isolated problem with this particular restaurant, and the restaurant is working closely with us to correct the problem.”
Fear that multiple restaurants and/or a food producer or supplier might be responsible for the outbreak rose last week when Magnolia Regional Health Center began filling up with people with symptoms of Salmonella infection.
As more people became ill, state and district health officials moved into the town of 1,500, which sits near the Mississippi-Tennessee border, to conduct tests and food-history interviews.
Before the Mississippi State Department of Health concluded that only one restaurant was responsible, some feared multiple sources might be involved because the illnesses were so widespread.
Dr. Blakely Fowler, a local medical doctor, thought the high number of cases pointed to more than one restaurant. She said young and elderly Salmonella victims were suffering most, and some who self-medicated to ease their symptoms actually made matters worse.
Don Julio’s shutdown was voluntary and the owners said they would remain closed until all food samples taken from the restaurant are tested. The Mexican restaurant maintains an “A” in its inspection ratings.
Because it has now been designated as the source of the Salmonella outbreak, Don Julio’s will be allowed to re-open only after an improvement plan is reached with state health authorities.