Nearly 180 people have fallen ill after eating a bad batch of pork scratchings linked to salmonella.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced a recall at the weekend of packets of Mr Porky, Jay’s and The Real Pork Crackling Company made by snack firm Tayto Group, which expire next February.
The FSA said links have been found between the products and 176 cases of salmonella poisoning across the UK since last September, with at least 12 of these needing hospital admission.
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.
The products have been linked back to one of Tayto’s factories in Bolton and those made since February have been recalled and pulled from sale, while production at the site was also halted voluntarily once a link was first identified earlier this month.
The FSA has advised that consumers should not eat any of the products being recalled to reduce the risk of further illness.
Tina Potter, head of incidents at the FSA, said: “It is really important that consumers follow this advice to avoid the risk of becoming ill with salmonella poisoning.
“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.”
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.
They normally resolve themselves, but symptoms can be more severe and lead to hospital admission, especially in the very young and those with weakened immune systems.
Dr Lesley Larkin, surveillance lead at the gastrointestinal pathogens unit at Public Health England, said: “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.”
Tayto Group was not immediately available for comment.