Listeria outbreak shuts another Tiger Brand facility
All products manufactured at Value Added Meat Product's (VAMP) Pretoria facility are being recalled by Tiger Brands‚ including the company’s Snax brand‚ as a precautionary measure‚ Tiger Brands said on Monday.
Production at the plant will also be suspended.
"This decision was taken as a result of the detection of Listeria monocytogenes at the facility‚ following heightened testing protocols which have been introduced. These results have been sent for whole genome sequencing to determine whether ST6 is present or not at the facility. The results will only become available in due course‚" Tiger Brands said in a statement.
This follows the suspension of operations at its Polokwane and Germiston sites earlier this month.
Operations at a fourth site are also affected.
Tiger Brands said: "Given the suspension of operations at the Polokwane and Germiston sites‚ which are the primary recipients of the production of the company’s Clayville abattoir‚ operations at the Clayville abattoir are being wound down with the objective of suspending operations completely by 31 March 2018."
The impact on the company is still being calculated.
An amount of R425m is being claimed in a class action suit against Tiger Brands and Enterprise Foods.
In addition‚ the company is facing huge financial costs as a result of the recall and the suspension of operations at the four sites.
Tiger Brands disclosed on Monday that‚ to date: "In respect of the separately identifiable costs associated directly with the recall and the suspension of production at its Polokwane‚ Germiston‚ Pretoria and Clayville sites‚ it is estimated that these costs‚ including the cost of destruction of the affected products‚ raw materials and work in progress‚ will range between R337m and R377m on a pre-tax basis (before accounting for any insurance recoveries). These costs include the national and regional costs of recalling all of the VAMP products produced at the Polokwane‚ Germiston and Pretoria sites‚ with the exception of canned products which are produced at a separate plant on the Polokwane site."
It is anticipated that the maximum potential insurance it can recover is R94m.
Tiger Brands added: "The estimated impact on the profitability of the VAMP business as a consequence of the suspension of operations at the Polokwane‚ Germiston‚ Pretoria and Clayville sites is significant... ".
The VAMP business is estimated to record a loss before interest and taxation of between R28m and R33m for the March trading period which runs from 25 February to 31 March 2018. This includes the normal trading activities which took place between 25 February and 4 March 2018. This excludes the product recall.
The company is not yet sure when the Polokwane‚ Germiston‚ Pretoria or Clayville facilities will be able to resume operations.
Commenting on the Department of Health and independent laboratory tests on the presence of LST6 in the environment at its Polokwane Enterprise Foods manufacturing facility‚ the company reiterated: "Whether this presence of LST6 can be said to have caused any illness or death remains unclear at present and testing in that regard is an ongoing process likely to take time."
"Listeriosis is a complex and global challenge caused by a wide variety of foods. To this end‚ the company is intensifying its efforts to understand the origins of the ST6 type in its total value chain. A sustainable national solution for South Africa can only be achieved through a collaborative multi-sectoral approach involving industry‚ government‚ regulators‚ scientific experts and civil society groupings. The company intends to be at the forefront of seeking this solution."