Fuego Back Open After Salmonella Outbreak

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COLLEGE STATION - Fuego Tortilla Grill voluntarily shuts its doors after an outbreak of Salmonella.

Texas Department of State Health Services began investigating a number of local Salmonella cases back in September of last year and have had intermittent reports since then. TDSHS informed Brazos County Health Department officials in January that according to questionnaires filled out by those infected, they were able to narrow the source of the outbreak to somewhere in Brazos County.

Of the 30 cases investigated by TDSHS, 26 were said to have originated in Brazos County.

Samples obtained from Fuego on May 13th showed that four of the 36 samples contained the Salmonella Typhimurium-Ohio serotype, health officials said. The results came back Friday. Health officials tell News Three that the Ohio strain is somewhat rare, but is not known to be particularly aggressive. They also tell us that antibiotics are typically not used to treat this strain and that any hospitalizations are typically due to dehydration, though they said most people don't seek medical treatment as the symptoms tend to be mild in nature.

Restaurant owner Paul Moler says he was disappointed in the findings that arrived Friday and that he immediately shut down his restaurant voluntarily to deep clean the Poplar street eatery from top to bottom. He says even the lamp shades were cleaned.

"We're using a pasteurized eggs that cannot harbor salmonella, and we've already put that in place. It's not worth taking the chance. Our customers are way too important and valuable to us."

Fuego workers performed the first cleaning and they were followed by a professional cleaning crew to disinfect a second time for safe measure.

No deaths have been reported from this outbreak.

Salmonella symptoms include headache, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting which can last four to seven days.

The restaurant re-opened Saturday at 11am after a follow-up visit by Brazos County health officials.