Cape poisoning followed food dumping

A food poisoning outbreak in a Cape Town informal settlement, followed the distribution of food that should have gone to a dump site, the city said.

It had finalised an investigation into the events that led to residents of Pholile Park informal settlement in Lwandle falling ill over a weekend in January 2011.

A total of 151 people, of whom 58 were taken to hospital, were treated for food poisoning that weekend.

The investigation revealed that the food originated from a food shop in Somerset West, the city said.

The owner had contracted a service provider to remove products from the premises and dispose of them at the Stellenbosch landfill site.

However, the contractor admitted that without permission from the shop owner, he delivered one of the two loads to Pholile Park.

According to the shop owner, the food included microwaveable frozen pudding and pies that were compromised after a refrigerator failed.

There were also products that were past their expiry date, including pasta sauces, tinned goods, salad dressings and dry products.

The city's health, solid waste management and law enforcement divisions were considering what action to take against the contractor that illegally dropped off the food.

(Sapa, February 2011)

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