Tiger Brands reopens processing facility in South Africa after Listeria outbreak

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Tiger Brands, South Africa’s biggest food producer, which was implicated in the world’s largest outbreak of listeria which killed more than 200 people, has re-opened the facility that was closed.

After the source of the outbreaks was traced to a factory owned by Enterprise Foods, a Tiger Brand unit in March 2018, the health department recalled the processed meat products known as ‘polony’ and closed some of the firm’s processing facilities.

The incident which resulted in a class action lawsuit against the company, forced it to stop production at its Polokwane and Germiston facility (east of Johannesburg) which produce polony and other cold meats. Tiger Brands however noted that its ready to cook products, including bacon and frozen sausages is expected to begin at its Germiston processing facility after the municipal health department gave it the go ahead.

The company’s shares which took a nasty turn after the outbreak, has begun to rise. Ryan Woods, a trader at Independent Securities said “it is showing signs of returning to normalcy again after that horrible black cloud was hanging over them so investors in general are looking a little bit more confident”.

Tiger Brands is continuing refurbishments at Polokwane which it expects to complete by November 2018. The company has shed more than a third of its market value, about $1.96 billion, since it was implicated in the listeria outbreak back in March 2018.

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