Weather closings and delays

1 dies after Salmonella outbreak at Tarheel Q restaurant

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- One person has died in connection to the Salmonella outbreak at Tarheel Q, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

Jen Hames, with the Davidson County Health Department, said the person had an underlying health condition that was the primary cause of death, but the person did also have symptoms of Salmonella poisoning.

More than 200 people from 19 North Carolina counties and five other states have been identified with signs and symptoms consistent with Salmonellosis after eating at Tarheel Q, according to DHHS.

A total of 248 cases have been identified as of Wednesday.

According to DHHS, of the 248 cases:

  • 55 percent are male
  • 41 percent are between the ages of 20 and 49
  • 20 percent have visited their provider
  • 13 percent have visited the emergency department
  • 6 percent have been hospitalized
  • 1 death has been identified

Since the outbreak, six people have filed lawsuits against the restaurant.

Tarheel Q, located on Highway 64 West in Davidson County, re-opened Wednesday morning.

Health officials say the restaurant has undergone an extensive cleaning and workers were re-educated about food safety.

"It could happen to any restaurant at any time," said Hames. "If there is a breakdown in the chain of food handling it can happen to any restaurant."

“It sure didn't take much for [the restaurant owners] to redeem themselves," said Tim Johnson, who returned to work Wednesday after spending several nights in the hospital and more than a week at home recovering from salmonella poisoning linked to Tarheel Q.

He is one of the several people suing the restaurant for growing medical bills and lost wages. He still has weeks possibly months before making a full recovery.

"If I had stayed a little longer [at home] and not gone to the hospital, I would have been in serious trouble," Johnson said.

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