Tiger Brands refuses to take blame for listeriosis deaths

The company has been linked to the outbreak as the source of listeria at two of its Enterprise factories in Polokwane and Germiston.

Tiger Brands CEO Lawrence MacDougall  (C) answers questions during a media briefing on the 4 March 2018. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Tiger Brands has acknowledged that the loss of life is devastating for the company but refused to take blame for the over 180 people killed by listeriosis.

The company has been linked to the outbreak as the source of listeria at two of its Enterprise factories in Polokwane and Germiston.

Those production houses have since been closed.

The Health Department over the weekend announced the recall of cold meat products produced by the firm.

Tiger Brands CEO Lawrence MacDougall briefed the media on Monday at the company’s Bryanston offices.

MacDougall remained adamant that his company has no link to the deaths of over 180 people, saying there has been no proof linking them to the deaths.

"We have brought in independent experts to work with us and provide scientific expertise required to get to the bottom of this."

An information sheet of the Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa.

That is despite Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi earlier asserting that it has been scientifically proven that the source of the deadly bacteria stems from two of Tiger Brand’s Enterprise facilities.

MacDougall says that his company will not apologise unless there is proof of negligence.

“Enterprise Foods follow a stringent protocol for the manufacture of quality food products.”

The World Health Organisation says that the listeria outbreak is the largest ever recorded globally.

Several African countries have already banned the import of processed meat from South Africa.

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