Listeriosis leaves local shelves empty following outbreak

Brains Mathobela, Superspar Mokopane Merchandiser making sure all the Enterprise Foods cold meat gets off the shelves to prevent the spreading of listeriosis.

MOKOPANE – Even a slight bowel irritation or nausea has residents of Mokopane and the whole of South Africa in panic mode as it might be the cause of Listeriosis while shopping centres and shops had to immediately get rid of thousands of rands’ worth of products.

You might want to read: Tiger Brands CEO denies blame for listeriosis deaths

By now everyone knows about the deadly listeriosis outbreak in which Enterprise Foods in Polokwane was identified as the main source.

Read more: BREAKING NEWS: Listeriosis outbreak traced to Enterprise Factory in Polokwane

This brand had to seize production immediately to stop further spreading through their processed meats.

About 180 lives have been taken by this epidemic.

Listeriosis is a deadly sickness which is spread by harmful bacteria. Especially pregnant women, the elderly, children or people with a weakened immune system are susceptible.

According to Ian van der Merwe, Manager of Superspar Mokopane, it was a big concern when they were notified on Sunday through their head office to immediately remove not only Enterprise Foods products but also Renown, Mieliekip, Bokkie, Lifestyle and Rainbow from their shelves.

“We had to remove all these products which include cold meats, polony and viennas.
“It had to be bagged, sealed and kept isolated to be uplifted through Enterprise representatives for full credit as it was consignment stock. Our shelves and fridges had to be deep cleaned with certain chemicals. Any equipment used to slice and pack these brand of meats that was stocked in our deli had to be deep cleaned as well.”

Van der Merwe added: “This leaves a big hole in our cash registers because clients now only have a few brands to choose from. It also becomes a challenge because everyone who bought these products have the chance to return the products for a refund.”

He further said the listeriosis outbreak might hold a big challenge in the future because of the fact that people are now scared to buy processed meats.

“If I think back I realise that processed meat like ham and viennas are such easy foods to use. Even in my own house it is easy to pop a vienna or cold meat on a bun when preparing my child’s lunch box.”
He promises clients that Spar branded products are safe to use. Another big chain store in town has the same problem and the source, who wants to stay anonymous, tells that they had to remove about four industrial trolleys worth of these products from their shelves. It left a massive space on their shelves which had to be filled with other brands to keep the customers satisfied.

“Enterprise Foods as well as Rainbow are very popular.
“People believe that they can trust them and I think it really disappointed everyone. I must say that fresh is always better and I got a scare from processed food.”

Buyers who have the banned products in their fridges still has the chance to go to any supermarket who sells these brands to get their money back and you don’t need a till slip as proof.

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  AUTHOR
Lionél van Wyk
Journalist

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