A tentative settlement has been reached in the five-year-old class-action lawsuit over tainted pasta salad.

About 500 people, mostly from the Toronto and Ottawa area, became sick after eating tainted Greek-style pasta salad made by Toronto-based Tiffany Gate Foods in 2002.

The salad contained the shigella bacteria, which is closely related to E. coli and Salmonella. The bacteria can cause abdominal pain and can even be fatal if the symptoms aren't treated.

The agreement is subject to court approval July 4. Lawyers had been seeking $17 million in damages, but the size of the final settlement has not been released.