Hundreds of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia have had bouts of food poisoning from local products, an Air Force hospital commander said.

The first case came a month ago when about 600 people suffering from an outbreak of botulism were treated at a hospital serving a USAF tactical fighter wing, Col. Alvin Cotlar said Wednesday.Cotlar, commander of the 833rd Air Transport Hospital, said an epidemic of salmonella now had been reported.

He declined to identify the air wing affected. The two intestinal diseases are caused by bacteria and can be fatal. No deaths had been reported, Cotlar said.

He said the epidemics almost certainly resulted from eating contaminated food supplied by local catering services.