A large outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Newport infection occurred in Northern Ireland during September and October 2004. Typing of isolates from patients confirmed that this strain was indistinguishable from that in concurrent outbreaks in regions of England, in Scotland and in the Isle of Man. A total of 130 cases were distributed unequally across local government district areas in Northern Ireland. The epidemic curve suggested a continued exposure over about 4 weeks. A matched case-control study of 23 cases and 39 controls found a statistically significant association with a history of having eaten lettuce in a meal outside the home and being a case (odds ratio 23·7, 95% confidence interval 1·4–404·3). This exposure was reported by 57% of cases. Although over 300 food samples were tested, none yielded any Salmonella spp. Complexity and limited traceability in salad vegetable distribution hindered further investigation of the ultimate source of the outbreak.