The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 27 cases of salmonella it says is most likely due to eating contaminated tomatoes.

Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says five people have been hospitalized, and adds the number of infections is expected to grow. Last week, federal officials announced a 17-state salmonella outbreak was connected to three types of raw tomatoes: red plum, red Roma and round red. As a result, thousands of restaurants, groceries and food retailers have pulled tomatoes from their shelves and menu items. The Food and Drug Administration says the salmonella causing the outbreak is a very unusual type called salmonella saintpaul. Salmonella is a bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. The bacteria are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces. (AP) ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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