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NICD insists it is correct on listeriosis source

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)'s Juno Thomas says her institute has not been able to trace ST6 anywhere else but at Enterprise Polokwane.

A man drops meat hampers - packets containing multiple products that cost roughly R200 - with security officials outside the Enterprise factory in Germiston. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)'s Juno Thomas says she is certain that the information which links Tiger Brands' Enterprise facility in Polokwane as the source of the listeriosis outbreak is correct.

On Monday, Tiger Brands refused to take responsibility for the deaths of 180 people killed by listeria, saying it has not been provided with any proof linking the company to the deaths and the illness of over 900 people.

Cold meat products produced by Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken Limited in Sasolburg, have also been singled out.

Thomas says her institute has not been able to trace ST6 anywhere else but at Enterprise Polokwane.

Dr Thomas says the source of the listeria outbreak is clear.

An information sheet of the Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa.

“The fact that we haven’t found ST6 really elsewhere apart from the Enterprise factory in Polokwane, I think that in itself is evident that it is the source of the outbreak.”

She says there has been vigorous processes to trace the ST6 outbreak strain.

“We can show that there were patients that developed illness with ST6 that died as a result.”

On Monday, Tiger Brands stated publicly at a media briefing, that as far as it was concerned, there was no link between the outbreak traced to their firms and the deaths.

Thomas says the institute is still awaiting sequence typing of sample isolates for further conclusions.

WATCH: Tiger Brands CEO: No link between our products and the 180 deaths

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