RCL Foods says to recall polony meat over listeriosis outbreak, halts production


Listeria is a bacterium that is naturally found in the environment - it commonly occurs in soil, water, vegetation and in the faeces of some animals. Some 180 of those infected have died.

South Africa's Department of Health confirmed the onset of the listeria outbreak in December 2017, according to a statement from Tiger Brands today.

"Ninety-three (85%) people reported eating ready-to-eat processed meat products, of which polony was the most common, followed by viennas/sausages and then other "cold meats".

While another facility, known as the Rainbow Chicken Limited (RCL), tested positive for listeria, samples from this facility are not the same strain that is causing the outbreak. "I'm just coming to collect my money".

Parent company Tiger Brands has responded, saying it has not been provided with any evidence to show there is a direct link between the listeriosis deaths and the company's products.

The public is cautioned to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat.

He said food safety remained the company's priority.

The company increased testing for Listeria and confirmed the presence of a strain of Listeria in some products on February 14. Any purchaser of meat products was also advised to disinfect home refrigerators. The local market was worth 6.02 billion rand (S$670 million) a year ago alone. Standard Bank analyst Sumil Seeraj estimated the recall would cut operating profit at Tiger Brand's value added foods division by 6 percent at most.

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South African supermarket operator Pick n Pay said it had withdrawn the products from its shelves.

Here is what some the large supermarket chains said regarding Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken products.

It warned that "a very broad range of retailers" could be affected.

The products were then isolated and precautionary measures were put into place.

After the health minister's declaration, numerous South African markets moved promptly to expel any speculate prepared to-eat meats from their coolers.

Mozambique Agriculture Ministry spokeswoman Florencia Cipriano told reporters on Monday that officials were working with importers to halt the flow of South African chilled meat products.

The outbreak has claimed 180 lives in South Africa and has been described by the World Health Organisation as the biggest documented outbreak of listeria.

The infection mainly affects children and has a three-week incubation period, making it hard to track.