Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Listeria outbreak in S. Africa linked to processed meats

Ready-to-Eat Processed Meat: Source of South Africa's Listeria Outbreak South Africa: Listeriosis Outbreak - the Blame Games Begin
Carol Daniels | 06 March, 2018, 01:46

Cold meat products are seen in a trolley after they were removed from the shelves of Pick n Pay Store in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 5, 2018.

Enterprise and Tiger suspended their ready-to-eat meat productions, after authorities ordered to recall its products from national and global shops, while supermarket chains asked their clients to return the products and their money will be reimbursed.

"It is not that we are incompetent, or that we have inadequate resources", Maja said when asked why it had taken more than a year to find the cause of listeria.

The company has suspended all production of RCL Foods' Rainbow Polony brand and is recalling all Rainbow Polony products despite the fact that test results of its polony product are still pending.

"To give you some insights, Enterprise foods follow some stringent protocols for the manufacture of quality food products, this includes monitoring and testing for the detection and management of pathogens, viruses and bacteria, including listeria, " Lawrence MacDougall said. It is believed to have originated in an Enterprise Food factory in the northern city of Polokwane.

He said the withdrawal and recall of all ready-to-eat meat products from retail stores would help contain the spread of the disease which has infected over 900 people resulting in about 180 deaths in South Africa.

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A key concern is that this outbreak started in a manufacturing facility owned by a large listed company, Tiger Brands (Pty) Ltd which has a good record of food manufacturing safety to date.

Tiger Brands is to remove all Enterprise products from shelves following the linking of polony to listeriosis. It added that no link has been made between its Wolwehoek facility and the outbreak.

Both companies say they have not yet quantified the cost of the national recall of their products. Mozambique and Namibia halted imports of the processed meat items and Botswana said it was recalling them.

Shares in Tiger Brands sank as much as 13 percent, before recouping some losses to close 7.4 percent lower at 393.38 rand. "I would rather go back to peanut butter and jam".

Deline Smith, a 57-year-old housewife with three full bags, said:"I hope my grandchildren are going to be okay because we gave them food over the weekend from these parcels".

Food safety is of paramount importance to Woolworths and we take all issues regarding the production of our food...

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