Small businesses suffering because of listeriosis outbreak

Elizabeth Khumalo.

Elizabeth Khumalo.

The outbreak has made customers sceptical of kotas, resulting in a drop in sales for small businesses.

Listeriosis is a serious, but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium, listeria monocytogenes. Processed meat and polony have been implicated as the main killers after 26 samples of the deadly Listeria ST6 strain were found in the Tiger Brands enterprise food production facility in Polokwane, and there has since been a massive recall of processed food in South Africa.

READ MORE: Listeria outbreak’s impact on small businesses worries Lindiwe Zulu

The outbreak has subsequently affected the local kota businesses, Soweto Urban reports. Although business has been slow for them since the outbreak of listeriosis in the country, the kota business owners alleged that, they do not use enterprise products and that their suppliers have assured them that the food has been proven to be listeria free.

Elizabeth Khumalo, who sells kotas in Pimville, Soweto, said her business had been very slow ever since the massive recall of cold meats.

“My business has been slow, I have no choice but to go back with this unsold ready-made kotas, and I don’t use Enterprise products,” she said.

Ntsitsi’s Fun Food, one of Soweto’s most successful kota businesses also stated they do not make use of Enterprise and that their suppliers have given them proof that their products are not linked to Listeria.

But ever since the outbreak, there was no sign of the usual long queues at Ntsitsi. Thabang Matomela of Ntsitsi’s Fun Food said their sales have dropped.

The ready-made kotas by Elizabeth Khumalo.

The ready-made kotas by Elizabeth Khumalo.

“People are still sceptical, but we are a business, and we cannot focus on a problem and not solve it, we need to deliver to our customers. We, therefore, have introduced the new menu, we now have new prego steak kota, rib burger kota and boerewors kota,” he said.

According to the letter they have received, their supplies have assured them with the following:

1. They manufacture their own processed meats and at no time do they make use of any product manufactured in either of the above facilities;

2. they have a strict hygiene, quality control and a food traceability program in place;

3. their products get tested on a regular basis for total bacterial count and listeria Presence by independent and accredited Laboratories. A practice they have been doing away before the outbreak and can confirm that their facility is free and clear of any listeriosis.

Listeria outbreak’s impact on small businesses worries Lindiwe Zulu

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