Ajuua's in Odessa Temporarily Closes its Doors Following Salmonella Outbreak

Published: Jun. 7, 2016 at 8:51 PM CDT
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Ajuua's Mexican Restaurant in Odessa is temporarily closed after two cases of salmonella were confirmed, according to Ector County Health Department Director Gino Solla.

On Friday Solla received several calls from customers who claimed to have gotten sick after eating at Ajuua's.

It wasn't until Monday that Solla received confirmation of the two cases by hospital officials and suggested that the restaurant shut its doors until they determine what the source was, even after they passed a health inspection earlier that afternoon.

The health department is now waiting on results for 18 more probable cases and is in the process of interviewing all 20 victims.

Solla says they are trying to figure out if the illness was spread by employees or food.

As for Ajuua's, Solla says they will be conducting a sanitation and food safety course with all of the restaurants staff Wednesday and plan to reopen on Friday.

The owner of Ajuua's sends his apologies to the community and wants everyone to know they are working hand-in-hand with the health department to get this problem solved.

As an extra precaution the restaurant threw away all of its food that was not sealed.

On average the Ector County Health Department receives 5-12 individual cases of salmonella a year.

The last outbreak Solla can recall happened five or six years ago at an Odessa restaurant.

At least one of the two victims remains hospitalized according to Solla.

The owner of Ajuua's in Midland wishes to make it clear that his restaurant has nothing to do with the Odessa location -- they are not under the same ownership.