El Patron Customer Speaks Out About Dining Experience

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - It's become a popular hangout among locals in Russellville.  El Patron is a Tex-Mex restaurant on Highway 43. Matthew Cantrell says his experience there was always positive, until last week.

"Everything was fine really, and two days went by.  I started feeling a little bit unwell. It just kind of felt like, maybe I had eaten too much or eaten something undercooked or rotten. I didn't know," said Cantrell.

Cantrell says he and his family all had the same symptoms and later learned he could have been exposed to Salmonella.

“I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I mean this was absolutely awful. I never even want to have anything close to this again," said Cantrell.

Florence doctor, Charlie Ferguson, says Salmonella is a germ that attacks the body`s gut.

He says the infection spreads from hand to mouth contact, and can usually manifest itself within hours of it entering the body.

"If you have a sense of nausea or vomiting or diarrhea, within a day or two of going to some place. Particularly if you are have diarrhea, especially if there is blood in it. It's smart to mention it to your doctor. They will likely turn it into the health department and you might also notify the health department of where you ate recently," said Ferguson.

It's those steps that have helped Cantrell endure a rough week and also take a new approach when it comes to eating out.

"Check the ratings. Absolutely, check the ratings. Look at your silverware even. I don't want to make people paranoid or anything. But I mean, I kind of have been made paranoid now cause of this experience. Because it went on for a full week and it's debilitating,' said Cantrell.