The Centers for Disease Control, along with several state health agencies and the federal Indian Health Service says the investigation into the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak has identified consumption of raw tomatoes as the likely source of the illnesses in New Mexico and Texas.

The specific type and source of tomatoes is under investigation; however, preliminary data suggest that large tomatoes, including Roma and red round are the source.

Here from CDC are the official numbers, as of yesterday (6/4/08):

Since late April, 57 persons infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in Texas (24 persons) and New Mexico (33 persons). These were identified because clinical laboratories in all states send Salmonella strains from ill persons to their State public health laboratory for characterization. Among the 38 persons who have been interviewed, illnesses began between April 23 and May 27, 2008. Patients range in age from 3 to 82 years; 48% are female. At least 17 persons were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

In addition, 29 persons with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul have been reported since mid-April in residents of Arizona (6 persons), Colorado (1), Idaho (2), Illinois (12), Indiana (1), Kansas (3), Utah (1), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (2). Investigations are underway to determine if consumption of raw tomatoes is also associated with illness in these states.

CDC’s consumer and other information on the outbreak can be found here.

CDC Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak Map

Persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul, United States, by state, April 15 to June 4, 2008