The Dragon Sushi restaurant has been closed as a preventive measure. | LAURA BECERRO

Maria Antònia Font, the director general for public health in the Balearics, went to Madrid today for a meeting at the health ministry to discuss the outbreaks of listeriosis on mainland Spain and salmonella in Majorca.

Fifty-one people have been confirmed as suffering from salmonella poisoning after allegedly eating at a Palma restaurant. Among the victims of the salmonella outbreak is a Real Mallorca football player.

The regional health service suspects that the number of victims could rise further still. The source of the salmonella was a Japanese restaurant, Dragon Sushi, on Calle Blanquerna in Palma.

The first cases related to people who had eaten there on Thursday last week. The restaurant was closed on Sunday.

By Friday, people were going to emergency units. The public health department was notified of these on Saturday. From what patients said, the department identified the Dragon Sushi as the source and closed it as a preventive measure.

Font says that there are normally more cases than the official number when there are such outbreaks. This is because for some people the symptoms are far less severe than for others and they don't necessarily see a doctor.

Proceedings against the restaurant have been opened. The owners have ten days, as of last Wednesday, to respond, although the full results of analyses weren't due until today at the latest.

The large variety of food served at the restaurant has made detecting the precise source quite difficult.