Public health officials in Ector County Texas are investigating a possible Salmonella outbreak that has caused a restaurant owner in Odessa to voluntarily close his business. As of Tuesday, two lab-confirmed Salmonella cases had been traced back to Ajuga’s Mexican Restaurant at 2120 Andrews Highway, according to a report by KWES-TV. County Health Director Gino Solla told the NCB News affiliate in Midland, TX, that there are 18 additional restaurant patrons with “probable” Salmonella infections. Ajuuas-Restaurant-logoAlthough the Health Department did not have information about the possible outbreak on its website as of Tuesday evening, the TV news station reported Solla said anyone who has eaten at the restaurant recently and become sick with Salmonella symptoms should immediately see their doctor and be tested. Most people infected with Salmonella develop abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children under the age of 5, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of severe symptoms and death. The specific source of the confirmed Salmonella infections remains unknown, but when the epidemiological investigation traced those two infections to Ajuua’s Mexican Restaurant, owner Julian Rubio voluntary closed down. “This isn’t the kind of thing you prepare for as a restaurant owner” Rubio said, according to KWES-TV. “… but we’re going to do everything we can to better train our employees and make sure this never happens again.” KWES-TV reported Rubio said he plans to cover the medical bills of restaurant patrons who became ill. Health officials said the two people with lab-confirmed Salmonella infections ate at the restaurant June 1. Health Department records show the restaurant went through “routine inspections” twice already this year, receiving a score of 100 on April 13 and a score of 97 on Feb. 4. In October 2015 the restaurant got a score of 96 with a notation that the lid on an outdoor grease bin needed to be kept closed and that meats should be thawed under cold running water, and not in standing water. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)