South Africa blames food firms for world's worst listeria outbreak

South African government blamed the sausage known as polony for the listeria poisoning that has killed over 180 people

We have removed all Enterprise processed cold meats and Rainbow chicken polony from our fridges and deli's and returned...

On Sunday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that the source of listeriosis, which has claimed at least 180 lives, has been found in Polokwane and Germiston.

"Much more research is needed on the specific stem of the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria that caused the outbreak".

The chief executive of Tiger Brands said on Monday there was no direct link between the deaths of more than 180 people who tested positive for listeria and its processed cold meat products.

He said the company had detected low traces of listeria in sample products on February 14 at its Polokwane facility.

On Jan. 12, a pediatrician treated nine school children for gastroenteritis. The fact that the source could not be found hurt all food suppliers in South Africa and they were all advised to test their products.

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Yes, this is the largest ever recorded outbreak of this severe form of listeriosis globally.
They had gathered to demand refunds on their purchases of ready-to-eat meat products that include polony - a local version of baloney sausage - sliced ham and Frankfurter-style sausages.

At this point in time, MacDougall said he could not confirm what the financial implications to the group would be, but did say that "the cost of withdrawal (of products) out of all the market is at a high expense".

Customers were notified to return any Enterprise or Rainbow Chicken products bought at Food Lover's Market or Freshstop stores for a full refund, spokesperson Jean Harkett said in a statement on Tuesday.

African government to recall cold and meat products supplied by the firm.

The fallout of the deadly listeriosis outbreak is likely to affect the books of Tiger brands and RCL foods. "RCL Foods is treating the outbreak "...as a crisis internally..." but noted "...that the specific strain of the pathogen responsible for the outbreak has not been isolated to the Wolwehoek facility".

"Woolworths has a team of food scientists and technologists who proactively manage food safety in addition to our independent food safety testing and auditing, to prevent microbial contamination of food". The company operates across South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Uganda and Zambia.

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