Anxiety as meat poisoning scare hits South Africa

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Meanwhile several Southern African nations including Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Namibia have banned several processed imports from South Africa, following the revelations that the listeria outbreak had been traced to ready to eat meat.

It is reported that so far 180 people country-wide have died from listeriosis, which has sparked panic across the country. Further tests were done on different products at the plant, and the results showed that the listeria monocytogenes bacteria were isolated in 30% of the environmental tests.Other facilities in Germiston and Wolwehoek are suspected of also producing foods that contain the bacteria, and are being tested as well.

He warned that products such as viennas, russians, frankfurters, other sausages and cold meats which are not typically cooked, could also be affected due to the risk of cross-contamination. Motsoaledi said a facility operated by Rainbow Chicken Ltd. (RCL Foods) also is under investigation.

Tests were done and it was found that they had listeriosis.

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. "It is devastating for me to have our products linked to this outbreak".

He said they had contacted all customers to confirm that recalled products were removed from store shelves. As a company that prioritizes the health and safety of consumers above all else, we are committed to ensuring that all Enterprise products, as identified, will be recalled as part of the directive received.

The announcement prompted a frenzied clearing and cleaning of the shelves by local supermarkets chains Shoprite (SHPJ.J), Pick n Pay (PIKJ.J), Spar (SPPJ.J) and Woolworths (WHLJ.J), which also urged consumers to return the meats for refunds.

Today alone, Tiger lost some 475,000 dollars, and its shares fell 7 percent during the morning transactions. I'll be scared even if they say this problem is solved.

"This outbreak consequently called for considerably more in-depth research", she said.

Analysts said profits at the two firms were unlikely to be hit hard. "That's most likely where they will lose because the inventory write-off will affect operating profit from that division", Seeraj said.

- Tiger Brands recalled Enterprise products.