Analysis

Four reasons the case against Tiger Brands is strong

The NICD has spent three months building a multi-layered case to identify the source of a listeriosis outbreak

07 March 2018 - 06:32 By Katharine Child
Tiger Brands CEO Lawrence MacDougall
Tiger Brands CEO Lawrence MacDougall
Image: Sunday Times

The embattled CEO of Tiger Brands, Lawrence MacDougall, might have said there is “no direct link” between Enterprise Polony products and listeriosis deaths, but the case against its Polokwane factory is scientifically strong.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases spent three months building a multi-layered case to identify the source of the world’s largest documented outbreak of listeria. This enables bodies such as the National Consumer Commission and the departments of Health, Trade and Industry and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to take action against Tiger Brands.

There are four different scientific aspects that fit together to provide evidence of the source.

1. The strain was found in polony consumed at a crèche 

The deadly strain was found in Enterprise polony from  a crèche where children got sick.  It was found in one of the sick children’s stool, showing a link from the Enterprise brand and the child who became ill with gastro enteritis – later confirmed to be listeriosis. This bit of evidence came to light in January but it wasn’t the first.

Read the other reasons on Times Select

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