Salmonella outbreak linked to Nash County barbecue joint, health dept. says

Local News

NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A popular Nash County barbeque restaurant has been temporarily shut down after the Health Department said the eatery was the source of a salmonella outbreak.

Now, the owner of Doug Sauls BBQ is vowing to make things right.

“They know me good enough to know I’m going to do what’s right and take care of them,” said Sauls.

Customer Shainne DePremo told CBS 17’s Holden Kurwicki said Sauls is known for its good food.

“We’ve got other places to eat, but it’s not as good because they’ve been around so long,” DePremo said.

She always eats the same thing, but the last time she ate at Doug Sauls BBQ something strange happened.

“I had got BBQ and slaw, and later that night my stomach got upset,” said DePremo. “It bothered me for the next three days.”

Nash County Health Director Bill Hill said his office typically sees one or two cases of salmonella per month.

“Salmonella is usually something you feel for two or three days and then you get better,” said Hill.

After that number spiked to 14 cases, Nash County health officials were able to track 10 cases directly to Doug Sauls BBQ.

“About 70 percent of these patients were hospitalized,” said Hill.

“It’s really hard to imagine,” said Sauls. “I’m sorry.”

Sauls got choked up talking about the incident that has kept his business closed since Friday night.

“Obviously we didn’t want this to happen,” said Sauls. “It’s never happened in 42 years.”

His business has never had anything other than an A rating for sanitation.

“We work hard to keep it that way even though we have an old building,” said Sauls.

That’s why Sauls is using this as an opportunity to make right what went wrong in his restaurant.

“The backroom where we do the BBQ, and the prep stuff, we’re taking that apart basically to the bare wall,” said Sauls. “We’re repainting, and adding new molding. We’re taking all of the stainless steel out and cleaning and sanitizing it. We’re actually going a little overboard with it.”

Sauls says he will spend the next few weeks cleaning and sanitizing every inch of their kitchen area, and they hope to be back up and running before Christmas.

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