OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Ministry of Health in Ontario are warning foodservice operators not to buy, use or serve shredded pork skins and pork rinds that were sold to restaurants that make Vietnamese/Asian meals in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

The affected products were sold frozen in clear plastic bags with no labels, no lot codes, no identifiers, and no cooking instructions, CFIA said. 

“At this time there is no evidence of these products being sold directly to consumers and they do not appear to be available or sold at supermarkets,” the agency said.

A foodborne illness outbreak of salmonellosis triggered a food safety investigation by the agency. Public health officials confirmed that the outbreak is associated with consumption of meals containing shredded pork rind and/or shredded pork skin from certain restaurants serving Vietnamese/Asian meals in the GTA. The number of cases has not been confirmed at publication, however the Ministry of Health in Ontario, in collaboration with Public Health Ontario, local public health units and food safety partners are investigating the outbreak.

The CFIA noted that food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause illness. Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis, according to the agency.