By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – Don Julio’s Mexican Restaurant on Virginia Lane in Corinth has been found to be the epicenter of a salmonella outbreak in Corinth that began about two weeks ago.
The Mississippi Department of Health said on Monday that there is no ongoing risk to the public.
As of Tuesday, 59 patrons and employees of the restaurant had been confirmed with positive tests for the food-borne illness.
“Our investigation has shown that the incident does not appear to be a food producer or supplier issue,” Northeast Mississippi District Health Officer Dr. Jessie R. Taylor said in the department’s press release. “It appears to be an isolated problem with this particular restaurant, and the restaurant is working closely with us to correct the problem.”
Don Julio’s closed voluntarily last week and has remained closed while the source of the salmonella was being investigated.
Now, however, the restaurant remains closed until the health department has signed off on an improvement plan for the business.
The investigation began after Magnolia Regional Health Center noticed an unusually high number of patients with gastrointestinal illness in the emergency room, said MSDH spokeswoman Liz Sharlot.
The investigation included interviewing the physicians and patients, getting food samples and stool samples and putting all the pieces together.
The department usually does not issue a press release at this juncture, she said, but the high degree of interest in the Corinth illnesses prompted the move.
The Don Julio’s in Corinth is the only restaurant involved with this outbreak. The Don Julio’s in Tupelo is not affected.