RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – After two weeks of being closed due to a salmonella outbreak, El Patron in Russellville is preparing to re-open for business.
For several days the open sign hanging in front of the restaurant has remained off.
Behind the locked doors, manager Rafael Mendoza said they are waiting on the state health department to re-inspect the restaurant after 14-people became ill with salmonella.
“They took food samples. Just about any food that we serve here they took samples to kind of find where the problem was,” Mendoza stated. “At this point I haven’t talked to them much, they haven’t found anything much.”
According to Mendoza, all the food at El Patron has been thrown out and every surface in the kitchen has been pressure washed and sanitized.
And Mendoza said the outbreak should not reflect the good health department scores they have received over the last five years of operation.
“I already feel pretty bad for these people that got sick. But it’s something that can just happen anywhere, even in your own kitchen at home,” explained Mendoza.
Mendoza also said he has hired a manager to watch over the kitchen operations at El Patron.
He said the move will ensure everything is done according to proper food preparation regulations.
Environmental inspectors with the Alabama Department of Public Health spent much of Monday at El Patron going over a list of items which must pass inspection before a permit to serve can be re-issued.
According to health department officials, El Patron has been cleared to re-open after passing their inspection on Monday.
They say once the restaurant is open, they will do follow up inspections to make sure everything remains up to their standards.