State Health Department Investigating JBGB For Over 50 Reported Illnesses

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — The state health department is investigating more than 50 reported illnesses linked to JJ's Beer Garden and Brewery after customers reported getting sick days after eating at the popular restaurant.

Anyone who visited JBGB between Sept. 13 and Monday (Sept. 24), and has experienced diarrhea or vomiting, should contact the health department at adh.foodsafe@arkansas.gov or 501-537-8969.

A total of 51 people have reported diarrhea and vomiting with some fever. Most people said they started to feel ill 24 to 36 hours after visiting the restaurant.

There have been no hospitalizations linked to the outbreak, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

Health officials are collecting clinical samples for testing to try to determine what's making people sick.

Laboratory tests are pending and no pathogen has been identified as the source of the outbreak yet, according to the health department.

“We are aware that many people traveled to that area of the state last weekend,” said Dr. Dirk Haselow, ADH State Epidemiologist.

“People may have gotten sick after they returned home. We urge anyone to contact us if they got sick after visiting or eating at this establishment.”

The health department said JJ’s Beer Garden and Brewery is cooperating with the investigation.

"(O)ur deepest concerns go out to the customers affected," Jody Thorton, owner of JJ's, said in a statement.

"We have never had an experience like this and are confident the health department will determine we complied with all applicable laws and regulations."

The restaurant was last inspected in September 2017, according to health department records.

The inspector found only one critical violation: disposable paper towels weren't available for drying washed hands. The inspector noted that this was corrected on site.

Critical violations can cause illness if the problem is not fixed quickly, according to the health department.

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