ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Health and agriculture officials have turned their attention to a salmonella outbreak associated with Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota.
A total of 45 cases of salmonella have been reported since Sept. 2, with more expected. Most of the 17 Chipotle restaurants suspected to be part of the outbreak are located in the Twin Cities metro area. Other locations include one in St. Cloud and another in Rochester.
Most of those infected contracted salmonellosis between Aug. 16 and Aug. 26 and became ill just days later. As of Friday, 34 of the 45 patients had been interviewed.
The Minnesota Department of Health reports the patients range in age from 15 to 67, are from a total of eight counties, and over half of them are male. Five have been hospitalized, though none are in critical condition, the department says.
The outbreak may be linked to the the brand's recent food supplier switch, department spokesman Doug Shultz told CNN Money. The specific food items containing the hazardous bacteria have yet to be identified.
"The safety and well being of our customers is always our highest priority," Chipotle said in a statement to the outlet. "While this issue in Minnesota does not present an ongoing risk to consumers, we are committed to working with health department officials while they look to determine a cause."