Packaged goods company Tiger brands says it hasn’t yet established a direct link between its products and the deaths of 180 people, following the Listeriosis outbreak.
On Monday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken’s products, such as polony, russians, chicken sausages and viennas, were the source of Listeriosis.
Briefing the media in Johannesburg, Tiger Brands CEO Lawrence MacDougall said the company had increased its testing process.
“Our products have continuously tested below the level and therefore, not all products that have detection are harmful to consumers. That is why we have acted as we have. Since the DoH, DTI and the NCC have raised the awareness we have taken precautions to start watch for zero detection of Listeriosis in our products. The testing has been upped significantly. There has been no direct correlation between our products and the deaths yet.”
Tiger Brands has given the assurance that it’s dealing with the outbreak of Listeriosis with the urgency that it deserves.
MacDougall says, “We immediately suspended operations at both Enterprise Manufacturing facilities in Polokwane and Germiston. We halted all supplies to retailers. We set up a helpline. We are engaging with customers and retailers to ensure we are able to provide them with the support they require to remove the products from their shelves as a matter of priority. While there have only been three products that the DOH have requested us to recall, as a consumer-conscious organisation we are being extra vigilant and we are voluntarily withdrawing all products produced from those two facilities.”
Tiger Brands earlier released a statement on the recall of affected products listen below:
Meanwhile, the National Consumer Commission has warned the public against disposing off ready-to-eat processed food products in the light of the Listeriosis outbreak.
Nutritionist Dr David Moore has commended health professionals for acting swiftly.
“I think it is devastating that we have reached nearly a thousand confirmed cases with a very substantial mortality rate, but I must compliment the teams and scientists at the NICD and the DoH for acting so swiftly in terms of making sure that all cases of Listeriosis were reported to the NICD and that it has become a condition within this outbreak context. I am happy that they managed to locate the suspected source and that we will, hopefully, within the next couple of weeks, curtail this outbreak.”