By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – A lawsuit was filed in Alcorn County Circuit Court earlier this month on behalf of Jorge Alvarado and a number of other plaintiffs seeking damages from a salmonella outbreak at Don Julio’s restaurant last fall.
More than 50 plaintiffs are listed in the complaint that seeks a jury trial and damage awards related to illness the plaintiffs said they suffered after eating contaminated food at the restaurant between Nov. 25 and Dec. 5, 2011, or coming into contact with someone who ate the tainted food.
The complaint names Rafael Tapia, Ernesto Flores and Luis Silva as principals of Don Julio’s and also lists 10 unknown workers at the restaurant as defendants in the action.
The Mississippi State Department of Health conducted an investigation after receiving a report on Dec. 2 of the suspected salmonella outbreak.
In addition to the restaurant, the state health department investigated whether the source of the contamination could have been food distributors and wholesalers who supplied Don Julio’s.
However, these local companies also served many other food service facilities in the tri-state area, and no other cases of similar illness were found.
Don Julio’s closed voluntarily while the investigation was under way, and remained closed until specific food handling deficiencies at the restaurant identified by the state health department were corrected.
The complaint names only the Don Julio’s located in Corinth as the site of food contamination, and the Tupelo restaurant was not affected.
The Corinth restaurant reopened within a couple of weeks after the state health department determined it had corrected the unsafe food handling practices.