Listeriosis scare: Woolworths pulls 32 cold meat products in widespread retailer recall

Cape Town – Retail companies wasted very little time on Monday pulling Enterprise Foods’ polony and vienna products from the shelves following parent company Tiger Brands’ recall of the products in an effort to contain the public’s risk to listeriosis.

Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi announced on Sunday that the source of the latest outbreak of listeriosis was traced back to an Enterprise Foods facility in Polokwane Limpopo Province.  

Woolworths acknowledged to Fin24 that Enterprise Food supplies meats for the products it was recalling, necessitating that some of the house brand products be pulled from the shelves or taken back for a refund. 

Around the country, supermarkets pulled processed meat products off their shelves and called on consumers to return processed meat products to store for a refund. Woolworths followed suit, asking customers to return close to 35 different product items to store for full refund.

“Woolworths has a team of food scientists and technologists who proactively manage food safety, in addition to our independent food safety testing and auditing, to prevent microbial contamination of food. This testing includes Listeria,” the retail company said on its Facebook page. 

Items recalled include Waferthin chargrilled and smoked ham, Waferthin roasted and smoked chicken, salami sticks, a variety of viennas, gammon and assorted meat products. 

WOOLWORTHS FULL FACEBOOK POST:

Pick n Pay and Shoprite have also pulled products from their shelves in light of Enterprise Foods’ recall.

Shoprite said its Housebrand, Ritebrand and Farmer’s Deli brand processed meat products were not affected by the recall as Rainbow Chicken and Enterprise Foods do not supply to their brands.

“Supermarkets in the Shoprite Group yesterday removed all affected Enterprise processed cold meats and Rainbow chicken polony from its fridges and deli’s after the announcement by the Minister of Health, following tests linking the Listeria monocytogenes ST6 strain positively with these supplier manufacturing plants,” the group’s statement said.

Shoprite Group said it is prepared to accept already opened meat products for a full refund and will not even ask for proof of payment.

“Following the Minister of Health's announcement about a national outbreak of listeriosis last year, the Shoprite Group immediately instituted an enhanced monitoring plan on top of its regular independent audits of store food preparation areas in an effort to detect if a risk of Listeria was present, given that the bacterium naturally occurs in the environment,” they said.

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