This follows an announcement by the country’s health minister Aaron Motsoaledi and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Sunday that the source of the outbreak was an Enterprise facility in Polokwane.
According to the NICD, the total number of laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases had risen to 948 since January 2018. Of these, 180 had died.
In a statement, Tiger Brands spokesperson Nevashnee Naicker, said: “As a company that prioritises 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. We are working very closely with the officials at present to conduct the process and will provide updates to the public on this matter.
“The company proactively amplified its testing for listeria and can confirm that we had found a low detection of a strain of listeria in some products on 14 February but the presence of the ST6 strain [the outbreak strain] has not been confirmed by our tests.”
The company is also carrying out its own listeriosis tests.
“Furthermore, the company has sent its samples to an external laboratory to test for the strain itself and should receive the results on Monday.”
Fellow poultry processor RCL Foods has also suspended production at its Wolwehoek plant and recalled Rainbow Polony products following the announcement.
This decision has been taken despite the fact that the results from testing of its Polony product were still pending. In line with the Department of Health’s announcement, it must be highlighted that the specific strain of the pathogen responsible for the outbreak has not been isolated to the Wolwehoek facility.
RCL Foods said it was continuing its detailed discussions and working closely with representatives from the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries and the NICD.
RCL Foods’ chief legal officer Stephen Heath said: “In line with RCL Foods’ strict food safety protocol, we have rigorous food safety procedures in place which include our own regular product and environmental testing, and these have been further strengthened as a precautionary measure in recent months. Rigid controls remain in place to mitigate any food safety risks, including microbiological risks, at all our food production facilities. We will continue to take every precaution to safeguard our products as well as our consumers.”