5 New Cases of Salmonella

Dr. J. Rush Pierce, Amarillo Health Department
Dr. J. Rush Pierce, Amarillo Health Department

The second salmonella outbreak in Amarillo now has sickened at least 25 people, up from 20 on Wednesday.

Health Department Officials say it will be at least a week before the restaurant reopens. All employees have been interviewed and inspected, and samples have been taken from equipment but finding the cause of the outbreak is proving to be difficult.

That is why they say earlier this week they asked Amarillo Police officers to sit in on employee interviews to rule out the possibility the illness was deliberately brought into the restaurant by employees.

The Health Department says they do have the power to permanently shutdown the restaurant.

Dr. J. Rush Pierce says, "The restaurant owner has asked us when it's safe to reopen and we haven't, I haven't made a decision about when it's safe to reopen. "

The restaurant is closed but Pierce says he expects more cases of salmonella to be reported in the Panhandle and by travelers who came through Amarillo.

Each year the average number of salmonella cases reported to the health department is 25.  So far this year four times that number has been reported.