The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a warning that several pork scratchings products in circulation since February 2021 may contain salmonella.
The agency reported that 176 cases of illness linked to the bacteria have been identified since September 2020 to the present date.
The affected products include items distributed by The Real Pork Crackling Company, Mr Porky and Jay’s.
According to the FSA, the source of the outbreak has been identified as a factory run by Tayto Group, which has since sent out a product recall notice and voluntarily shut down its operations.
Customers are being advised to not consume any of the products linked to the pork crackling brands.
“We are advising consumers not to eat any of the products listed in the FSA alert”, FSA head of incidents Tina Potter said.
“It is really important that consumers follow this advice to avoid the risk of becoming ill with salmonella poisoning.
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“The food business involved has voluntarily suspended its production to put additional controls in place to improve the safety of their products and they have decided on a voluntary basis to withdraw and recall all of the products within shelf life produced at this site.”
Public Health England gastrointestinal pathogens surveillance lead Dr Lesley Larkin added: “We have established a link between the 176 cases based on the analysis of data obtained through whole genome sequencing and epidemiological investigations.
“These investigations, together with those carried out by local authorities have indicated the source of infection is pork scratchings produced by a single company in the UK.
“The Food Standards Agency has acted on these findings to mitigate any further risk to public health from the contaminated food.
“Salmonella can be spread from person to person, so anyone affected should adhere to good hygiene practices including washing your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and avoiding handling food for others if you have symptoms.
“Anybody with concerns that they have symptoms of salmonellosis should contact their GP or call NHS 111.”