Tiger Brands, the company whose Enterprise processed meat products were found to have contained listeria, has vowed to never allow such a crisis to happen again.
This comes after a report released by the department of health on Thursday confirming the presence of listeria monocytogenes in Enterprise and Rainbow Foods from the Polokwane factory in Limpopo. The release of the report came after swabs were taken at the facility earlier this month.
Lawrence MacDougall, Tiger Brands’ chief executive officer, said: “The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority. I am deeply concerned by the detection of LST6 in our factory.
“Together with our staff, business partners and the relevant authorities, we are working to mitigate any further risks to consumers.
“We are well advanced in the national recall of all ready-to-eat chilled processed meat products, which we initiated on Sunday. We will leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of this to ensure it does not happen again.”
The Germiston and Polokwane factories will remain closed while a deep-cleaning process is conducted. In the meantime, members of the public are urged to continue returning affected products to retailers.
“The majority of all products have been removed from retail outlets. These were removed with dedicated trucks and are being kept in a quarantine warehouse awaiting disposal by incineration,” said Tiger Brands.
The food giant has rolled out a national consumers’ communication campaign on all media platforms, including radio, print and broadcast media, and set up a customer helpline to assist in returning the products for refunds.
City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security and social services JP Smith, said: “Should [people] not wish to [return products to retailers] because the amount may be small, it is best not to just dispose of them in the normal waste disposal, but to wrap them properly and place them at the bottom of the bin to prevent waste pickers from accessing them.”