‘Do other fish you sell swim in a private ocean?’ consumer asks store barring sardines amid E coli concern
A well-known national seafood and meat outlet has taken a stance not to sell sardines until its suppliers can provide E coli-free clearance certificates.
B Nagiah's notice on its Facebook page has garnered hilarious reactions from consumers, with one questioning whether other fish the store sells "swim in a private ocean".
TimesLIVE has reached out to B Nagiah's, which has branches in Durban and Johannesburg, for comment and is awaiting a response.
The store said in its notice: "Kindly note the safety of you and your family is and will always remain a priority to us, hence we have chosen not to sell sardines at any of our stores this year unless we can get a clearance certificate from our suppliers."
The arrival of sardines along the south coast this week has sparked much excitement among those who love to consume the silvery fish.
Traditionally sardines are marinaded in spices and fried in hot oil until they are crispy.
B Nagiah's stance has left many sardine lovers miffed and defiant.
One Facebook user said: "Just dunk it in hot oil. I'm still alive.”
Others praised the store for prioritising the safety of customers.
"We are not arguing that it is not safe. However, due to everything our society has faced since Covid-19, it is our responsibility not to operate on the assumption of safety.
"As you know, there are many beaches, some of which have been tested and deemed safe. We have not accepted fish of any kind from the beaches that have tested and posed a threat of E coli. We have ensured our fish are sourced from safe waters," B Nagiah's explained on its Facebook page.
Seasoned angler Jace Govender believes the "safest thing to do is cook all food".
"E coli bacteria can't survive more than 70ºC. If you are going to put a scare out there, then all seafood that comes from local waters must be stopped being sold," Govender said in response to B Nagiah's notice.
"Myself and many other people have been eating the sardines and we did not get sick. We cook our food properly and it is perfectly fine.
"My family are licensed seine netters. They will not sell sardines or eat them if it was unsafe."
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