RCL Foods: Factory cleared of deadly listeria strain

The Wolwehoek polony plant in the Free State had been identified as one of the possible sources of the outbreak.

A view of the listeria bacteria. Picture: National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

JOHANNESBURG - South African food producer RCL Foods said on Friday its processed meat factory has been cleared of a listeria strain that has killed 180 people since January last year.

“Tests conducted by an independent laboratory in France, which is considered to be a leading expert in this field, have shown that the plant is clear of the ST6 listeria strain,” the firm said in a statement.

The Wolwehoek polony plant in the Free State had been identified as one of the possible sources of the outbreak.

The government has linked the world’s worst listeria outbreak to a factory owned by RCL’s rival, Tiger Brands.