Nash County Health Department forced Doug Sauls' Bar-B-Que & Seafood to temporarily close starting Nov. 22.
Health department investigators said they identified 14 cases of Salmonella, with 10 of them explicitly naming Doug Sauls' as a place they ate shortly before getting sick.
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Investigators tested multiple areas in the restaurant's kitchen; several of those tests came back positive for an uncommon, serious type of Salmonella.
Salmonella is an organism that can give healthy people fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Young people, old people or those with weakened immune systems can suffer more serious symptoms if they contract Salmonella.
The restaurant took to social media to apologize to anyone who may have gotten sick after eating there. It also reassured customers it would reopen once the kitchen is completely sanitized.
Owner Steve Sauls got emotional when talking to ABC11 on Monday about the outbreak.
"Its just terrible. It's just terrible," he said. "I would never do anything to harm anybody and...it's just a bad situation."
He said his staff is taking apart all the equipment and thoroughly cleaning it.
Doug Sauls' first opened in 1977. The restaurant said this is the first incident like this it has had in its four decades of operation.