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Food inspection agency investigating salmonella fears involving SunChips, Munchies

SunChips Harvest Cheddar Flavoured Multigrain Snacks and Munchies Original Snack Mix from Frito Lay Canada are shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating concerns over potential salmonella contamination involving popular Frito Lay brand snacks.

The agency said Tuesday there were no reported illnesses but it issued a recall warning for all sizes of SunChips Multigrains Harvest Cheddar Snacks and Original Munchies Snack Mix with a guaranteed fresh date of July 16 to Aug. 13.

It also included Variety Packs Cheesy Mix with the same dates. 

Salmonella is more often associated with raw or undercooked chicken or eggs, but cases of contamination in chips is not unheard of, said a University of Guelph food science professor.

While instances are relatively rare, Keith Warriner said salmonella can thrive amid the low moisture levels of chips.

“Salmonella is very stable in the dry state and increases prevalence in the dry state,” Warriner explained.

The CFIA warning relates to a voluntary recall Frito Lay Canada announced Monday for multiple varieties of SunChips Harvest Cheddar and Munchies Original Snack Mix.

The company said it had learned from its seasoning supplier that an ingredient added by a third party was potentially contaminated with salmonella.

It added that no salmonella was found in the seasoning supplied to Frito Lay Canada, but that it was recalling the products "out of an abundance of caution."

The CFIA said food contaminated with salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make someone sick. It said recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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