Tiger Brands has declined to respond in detail to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicating that the source of the listeriosis outbreak in South Africa was its Enterprise factory in Polokwane, Limpopo. “There is a legal process currently under way to determine liability for the outbreak. As a company, Tiger Brands is committed to following the legal process with honesty and integrity. We hope for a resolution as soon as possible for all parties concerned,” company spokesperson Nevashnee Naicker is quoted in a TimesLIVE report as saying. The article to which she was reacting fingered the company as being behind the world’s biggest listeriosis outbreak – in South Africa.
In December 2018, the Johannesburg High Court granted an order certifying a class action against Tiger Brands which should determine whether the company is liable for the outbreak. The legal case relies on the fact that the outbreak strain of listeria monocytogenes, which infected 91% of the people who died‚ was found at the Polokwane factory.
The class action is being brought by Richard Spoor Attorneys and LHL Attorneys, with US-based firm Marler Clark as a consultant to the attorneys, on behalf of those made ill by listeria-tainted polony and the families of those who lost loved ones. The article noted that the number of cases decreased “dramatically” after the recall of the implicated Tiger Brands products on 4 March, 2018.Full report in TimesLIVE
See alsoEPIDEMIOLOGY: SA's listeriosis outbreak fuelled by HIV and lack of awareness