20 sick: Salmonella outbreak linked to Texas restaurant, owner stands up

Julia Deng of ABC 7 News reports a popular Odessa restaurant is temporarily closed pending an investigation into a foodborne disease outbreak involving two confirmed cases of Salmonella and at least 18 probable cases, Ector County Health Department officials said Tuesday.

ajuua's.mexican.restThe owner of Ajuua’s Mexican Restaurant, located at 2120 Andrews Hwy in Odessa, voluntarily halted restaurant operations after the confirmed Salmonella infections were traced back to his establishment, according to Health Department Director Gino Solla.

The source of the infection and original point of contamination within the restaurant remained unknown Tuesday.

Officials revealed the two patrons suffering from foodborne illness positively linked to Ajuua’s dined at the restaurant Wednesday, June 1.

Results of lab tests and medical exams were not yet available Tuesday for the 18 additional patrons with “probable” Salmonella infections, Solla said.

Julian Rubio, the owner of Ajuua’s, said he “is deeply sorry” to patrons sickened at his restaurant and plans to cover their medical bills related to Salmonella treatment.

“This isn’t the kind of thing you prepare for as a restaurant owner… but we’re going to do everything we can to better train our employees and make sure this never happens again,” he said.