STUTTGART, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV11 has learned that there are four confirmed cases of salmonella in Stuttgart and all of the cases have been traced back to one restaurant.
Wednesday lunch in Stuttgart was business as usual at Chuck Wagon Restaurant, even after a warning about four confirmed cases of salmonella poisoning believed to be linked to the establishment. Dr. Gary Wheeler with the Arkansas Department of Health said his office was notified Friday by a local physician and within hours inspectors were at the restaurant.
"We have several people who have been hospitalized as a result of illness associated with this outbreak," he said.
Wheeler said recommendations were made to the restaurant to prevent any more spread of the disease.
"We also collected samples of food that were served on the day that individuals ate at the restaurant to try and determine the mechanism by which salmonella may have broken out at that restaurant," he said.
Ashley Warner is a waitress at another restaurant in town and said they use safe hygiene practices.
"I think nobody should be afraid to go out to eat," Warner said.
Since Friday, the health department said it received and investigated 30 reports of suspected food-borne illness. THV11 stopped by the Chuck Wagon Restaurant, but management was not available for a statement. Wheeler said the restaurant is still open for business.
“In this case they have been working with the restaurant, they have been completely cooperative, they've followed all the suggestions that we've had. So, we typically do not close a restaurant as long as the restaurant is being cooperative and put in place measures from that point on that the food is safe," Wheeler said.
The Arkansas Department of Health is still investigating salmonella cases at the Chuck Wagon. ADH said if you ate at the restaurant between August 14-16 and are experiencing symptoms to contact their department.
Dr. Wheeler said sometimes they may never get a clear answer as to how it started, but feel confident that they have done the things necessary to prevent any further transmission.