Local News

Food poisoning case could be linked to Nashville restaurant

Posted May 4, 2012 7:09 p.m. EDT
Updated May 4, 2012 9:10 p.m. EDT

— The Nash County Health Department is investigating several reports of gastroenteritis that it says might be associated with Ribeye's Steakhouse off N.C. Highway 64 in Nashville.

Health officials started receiving calls late Thursday about the food poisoning, which they say has symptoms similar to a stomach bug, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. One person who could be connected to this case has been hospitalized.

Health officials said they do not know what type of organism caused the sickness, and test results could take days. They are still investigating to determine its origin.

"We have to look at some other things to make sure it's not a red herring, so we are pursuing that in our investigation too, to make sure the link is true," said Amy Bellflower-Thomas of the Nash County Health Department.

The owner of the restaurant said she was "devastated," and wasn't sure how people could have gotten sick after eating there. As a precaution, she said staff was disinfecting the entire restaurant.

The best way to prevent general gastrointestinal illness is to practice proper hand-washing, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, before eating and preparing food, and when caring for a sick person.

Anyone with symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and remain at home until all symptoms are gone to prevent infecting others.