Health department closes Captain Al’s after illnesses

Captain Al’s Steak & Shrimp is on Lorraine Road in Gulfport.
Captain Al’s Steak & Shrimp is on Lorraine Road in Gulfport.

Captain Al’s Steak & Shrimp was temporarily closed Jan. 3 by the state Department of Health after people who ate there before and after Christmas reported becoming ill.

Liz Sharlot, director of communications for the Health Department, said Tuesday the agency had reports of about 40 illnesses after people dined at the restaurant at 11268 Lorraine Road.

“The restaurant is cooperating,” Sharlot said, and no additional reports of illnesses have been received since the restaurant was closed.

“Hopefully, they can reopen soon,” she said.

The Sun Herald was unable to talk to Stacey or Albert Magnusen, whose family has owned the restaurant for more than 20 years.

A Sun Herald reader who asked not to be identified said she and her husband have been sick since Dec. 23, and she knows of six others who became ill. She and her husband got sick, she said, but their children who ate something different did not. She reported the illness to Captain Al’s first and later called the Health Department.

Others who called the Sun Herald said they have had upset stomachs and diarrhea since eating at the restaurant shortly before Christmas. They didn’t realize others who ate at the restaurant at the same time were sick.

The inspection report for Captain Al’s shows the restaurant had a good history. Its last inspection was Sept. 26 and the restaurant received an A score, which means no problems were detected. The last time the restaurant had a C, which indicates an issue was found and was being corrected, was in July 2014.

This is not the first time the Health Department has closed a restaurant, Sharlot said.

The department is continuing to investigate and working with the owners, and she said, “They will not be reopened until we are confident that the restaurant is in top shape.”