Dozens of people became ill – with some ending up in hospital – after they ate suckling pig butties (sandes de leitão) at Portimão’s Street Food Festival.
The sandwiches – sold by Mister Pig – were billed as one of the many delights at the fair characterised by lines of bustling food trucks.
José Borralho, vice-president of Portugal’s Street Food Association, played the PR disaster down, saying “it could have happened to anyone”.
“This can happen to any restaurateur or anyone who works with food,” he told the Resident. “Unfortunately it happened to Mister Pig.”
He said Mister Pig’s food truck was properly inspected on Thursday (July 30) where the routine check found “nothing wrong”.
“It’s likely that bacteria affected one of the portions of the meat, but we won’t know for sure until the test results come back,” he explained.
The poisoning made itself known after Mister Pig’s customers started vomiting and experiencing very upset stomachs.
Social networks like Facebook helped make the link between the symptoms and the sandwiches, and a number of people have since confirmed via Facebook that they ended up in hospital.
Portimão’s Street Food Festival took place between July 23 and August 2, and featured dozens of trucks selling pizzas, hot dogs, toasted sandwiches and Mister Pig’s suckling pig sandwiches.
“We hope people will realise that this was an isolated case and that it doesn’t mean street food isn’t safe. Hopefully, it will also serve as a lesson to businesses to avoid this happening in the future,” José Borralho concluded.
Those who suffered from Mister Pig’s fare, or indeed any other dodgy food at the festival, are encouraged to contact José Borralho ([email protected]) so that he can put people in touch with Mister Pig’s insurers.