NEW: Health department ties Russellville salmonella outbreak to El Patron restaurant

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -  The Alabama Department of Public Health continues to investigate a foodborne outbreak of salmonella in Russellville, adding that three people who had eaten at El Patron restaurant tested positive for the bacteria.

Other potential cases of Salmonella are being investigated. Salmonella symptoms usually occur within six to 72 hours after infection. Most people recover without treatment, the health department said.

Symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramping and fever.

Several people contacted WHNT News 19 earlier this week to report they became ill after eating at El Patron.  We then contacted the health department to get answers.  Representatives confirmed an outbreak of foodborne illness on Thursday, and Friday, connected it to the restaurant.

This picture was posted to our Facebook by Jonathan Bickerstaff Friday evening.

This picture was posted to our Facebook by Jonathan Bickerstaff Friday evening.

Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers recommends that people reduce their risk of Salmonella by avoiding raw or undercooked eggs, poultry or other meats, thoroughly washing produce, and following safe food handling practices during food preparation. Hand washing, keeping uncooked food away from cooked food, and using clean plates and utensils are some important ways to minimize food contamination. People should also wash their hands after contact with animals and animal feces.

The investigation is ongoing and final test results will be available at a later date, Landers said.

Here is more information about salmonella from the Centers for Disease Control.