Tiger Brands CEO, Lawrence MacDougall says the company cannot be held solely responsible for the over 900 Listeriosis infections and the 180 deaths in South Africa.
MacDougall says in January the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) collected 400 swabs from their factories as part of working closely with all regulators.
This follows an announcement by Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi on Sunday that the origins of the deadly Listeria outbreak in the country was traced back to the Enterprise Foods, and Rainbow Chicken factories in Limpopo, Gauteng and the Free State.
MacDougall says they cannot take responsibility for the outbreak, but will act to protect the consumer.
“Where we are at the moment – the Minister on Sunday informed us that there was a link… that what they found in some of the swabs that they took in a factory, there was evidence of ST6 strain in a factory, and that’s a similar strain that they apparently found in some of the tests that they’ve done on some consumers. Those are environmental swabs, and not product swab, so there’s no direct link here to the product… and those people that got ill, those are not related to deaths at all people that got sick… that was also a basket of products, not only Tiger Brands products.”