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Tiger Brands and Rainbow shares drop sharply on listeriosis news

| Supplier news

Tiger Brands’ share price fell 13% to R370.30 and RCL Foods’ share price dropped 6.4% to R16.10 shortly after the JSE opened at 9am on Monday morning.

The market reacted to a statement Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi made on Sunday saying two unrelated polony brands — manufactured by Tiger Brands subsidiary Enterprise and RCL Foods subsidiary Rainbow Chicken — had been found to contain listeriosis.

Tiger Brands issued a statement on the JSE’s Sens service at 8.46am confirming that its Enterprise Foods subsidiary had been ordered to recall its polony, frankfurters and smoked Russian sausages.

CEO Lawrence MacDougall said on Sunday afternoon that the
group had undertaken a full national recall of the affected
Enterprise ready-to-eat meat product range.

The food producer did not provide any estimate of the financial cost of the recall and the suspension of operations at its Polokwane and Germiston facilities.

Tiger Brands said on Monday it was taking three measures to kill the listeria bacteria.

Firstly, it is fitting oxy-acid dosing units to its rotary coolers to provide a bacterium kill in the cooling water.

The source of the recent Listeriosis outbreak in the country has been found. Here is what we know so far.

Secondly, Tiger Brands is increasing the sanitisation of its packing table through additional spray sanitisers at the pack station and by installing auto-dosing units.

Thirdly, it is switching from stamping sell-by date codes to using ink-jet printing to avoid damaging packaging.

RCL Foods issued a statement on Sunday saying its Wolwehoek processing plant had taken the precautionary measure to suspend polony production.

“Additionally, it is in the process of recalling all Rainbow polony products from its entire customer base. This is despite the fact that the results from testing of its polony product is still pending,” the company said on its website.

“In line with the Department of Health’s announcement, it must be highlighted that the specific strain of pathogen responsible for the outbreak has not been isolated to the Wolwehoek facility.”

Another polony producer, Eskort, said on its website that its facilities at Estcourt in Kwazulu-Natal and Heidelberg in Gauteng had so far passed the Department of Health’s tests.

“The testing procedures, carried out both internally and by external independent bodies, continue on a daily basis to ensure that our stringent quality standards are maintained as has been the case since 1917, Eskort said.

Stringent measures

Businessman Phillip Sibia queues to return meat from the Enterprise factory store in Germiston, East of Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL
Businessman Phillip Sibia queues to return meat from the Enterprise factory store in Germiston, East of Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL

The DA says Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi needs to put strict measures in place to prevent the spread of listeriosis.

“Motsoaledi must now investigate and ensure that there are strict measures for the food industry to curb the spread of the world’s biggest listeriosis outbreak‚” the party said in a statement.

It welcomed his announcement on Sunday that the source of the food-borne virus had been traced.

“The DA also welcomes the subsequent move by the National Consumer Commission to issue all the companies involved with safety recall notices and that they be suspended from exporting their goods.”

Deputy consumer commissioner Thezi Mabuza said stores should refund consumers who returned the recalled products‚ partly consumed or not‚ even if they no longer had a receipt.

With Nomahlubi Jordaan

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