The Atlanta Associated Press reports that the salmonella outbreak potentially linked to produce  has sickened at least 172 people in 18 states, health officials said Monday.  Marler Clark represented over 150 people sickened in a salmonella outbreak linked to tainted tomatoes in 2003.  Perhaps this outbreak will take the heat off of the California Lettuce and Spinach Industry.

In this outbreak Health officials think the bacteria may have spread through some form of produce — the list of suspects includes tomatoes.

But according to the CDC, the illnesses have not been tied to any specific product, chain, restaurants or supermarkets.  No one has died in the outbreak, which stems from a common form of salmonella bacteria. Eleven people have been hospitalized, health officials said.  “We’re very early in the investigation,” said Dave Daigle, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC first detected the outbreak two weeks ago through a national computer lab system that looks for patterns and matches in reports of food-borne illness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has joined the investigation and will try to help trace the outbreak to its origin.  Most of the cases are in adults, and more than 60 percent are women, said Dr. Chris Braden, a CDC epidemiologist investigating the outbreak.

The states involved are Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.

See my recent post at too.