The public have been warned not to eat a brand of pork scratchings after an outbreak of salmonella poisoning from a Westhoughton factory.

The Food Standards Agency are advising consumers not to eat several pork scratching products made by Mr Porky, Jay’s and The Real Pork Crackling Company with a best-before date up to February 2022.

These products are made by the Tayto Group Ltd on an industrial estate in Westhoughton.

Testing has found a link to 176 reported cases of salmonella poisoning across the UK between September 2020 and the present date.

All products made since February at this factory linked to the outbreak have been recalled and withdrawn from sale.

Symptoms of salmonellosis typically resolve themselves and include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever. However, symptoms can be more severe and lead to hospitalisation, especially in the very young and those with weakened immune systems.

Tina Potter, head of incidents at the Food Standards Agency, said: "We are advising consumers not to eat any of the products listed in the FSA alert. 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."

Dr Lesley Larkin, surveillance lead, Gastrointestinal Pathogens Unit at Public Health England, said: "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."

Multiple supermarkets have now recalled the products after being warned of the possible outbreak by Tayto.

Tesco issued a statement saying: "We’ve been made aware that Tayto Group Ltd are recalling certain Mr Porky products as a precautionary measure. This is due to a possible presence of Salmonella.

"If you’ve bought any of the afected Mr Porky products, do not eat them. Instead, return them to a Tesco store where a full refund will be given. No receipt is required."

Tayto Group are reported to have said: "We apologise for any inconvenience."