As a precautionary measure, however, the government has issued a recall notice for all polony products from the Wolwehoek facility.” The company has further advised consumers to return to retailers for a full refund even without a till slip its been reported. “The recall concerns polony, not chicken. No Rainbow Chicken products are produced at the Wolvehoek facility, and no fresh or frozen Rainbow Chicken is subject to recall,” said the company.
Although Rainbow Chicken is defending the Wolwehoek facility from contamination, on the contrary, the company said it has ordered, as a precautionary measure, the recall of all polony products produced at the Wolwehoek facility. Also in the equation, Enterprise Foods released a statement saying it has pulled its polony and other processed meat products from supermarket shelves after one of its factories in parts of the country, including the Free State. The Shoprite Group told City Press online that it was relieved that definite sources of the outbreak have been identified so that consumers now have some peace of mind about their food purchases.
The Shoprite Group said that it has a well-developed risk assessment programme in place that confirms the adherence to food safety and hygiene protocols in its supermarkets. Meanwhile, when clarifying the Listeria timeline in parliament on Thursday, Minister Motsoaledi said the outbreak started in June last year and not in January 2017 as some have reported. “This outbreak started in June 2017 and the doctors at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital picked it up in July, the very following month.
They could not have done it faster than that.” Just under a thousand cases have been recorded and 180 people have died. Motsoaledi says their efforts to monitor and curb the outbreak were hampered to some extent by private labs. He further added that his department would assist victims of listeriosis and their families with data to institute litigation against companies found to have sold food contaminated with a deadly listeriosis strain.
“There is no way, regardless of what the [Democratic Alliance] DA is saying, there is no way we are going to keep quiet. Laws are available to bring people to account and they are going to be punished in terms of the available legislation,” the minister said in response to DA MP Lindy Wilson’s questioning. Other opposition parties responded angrily to the DA, accusing it of protecting white-owned companies.
“The fact of the matter remains that over 180 people have died as a result of these unscrupulous companies who prioritise profit even over safety of people…,” said Economic Freedom Fighters MP Elsabe Ntlangwini. “It is engraved in our DNA as South Africans not to question the transgressions of white companies.” In a media briefing on Monday, Tiger Brands chief executive Laurence MacDoughall refused to take responsibility for the outbreak, denying any direct links between the deaths of 180 people and its products. MPs also wanted the strengthening of food health inspectors across the country