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Soweto daycare owner recounts ordeal after children ate polony

At least 180 people have died from listeriosis since January last year and over 940 cases have been reported so far.

The Child Care Orientation Centre in Klipspruit West where 9 children were diagnosed with listeriosis. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN

SOWETO - The owner of a daycare centre in Soweto where children were diagnosed with listeriosis has described her ordeal after one child fell ill after the next in her care.

Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa visited the Child Care Orientation Centre in Klipspruit West on Tuesday afternoon.

Nine children from the centre were hospitalised in January when they fell ill after eating polony.

At least 180 people have died from the food-borne disease since January last year and over 940 cases have been reported so far.

Momi Oliphant has spoken out for the first time about what happened at her daycare centre when nine children suddenly fell ill after she fed them polony.

“Polony ... I don’t even want to know the colour of that thing. We have resorted to either noodles or something that is nutritional, like today it was vegetables. But [not] polony.”

Oliphant says she's relieved that none of the children lost their lives.

“Some people lost their lives. We were so fortunate. The kids were immediately rushed to the clinic.”

The elderly woman has been running the daycare centre for 23 years and says she's never experienced anything like this before.