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Listeriosis death toll rises to 189

The NICD suspects more cases will still be reported as the incubation period of listeriosis can be up to 70 days.

A microscopic view of the listeria bacteria. Picture: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

JOHANNESBURG – The listeriosis death toll has risen to 189. Rainbow Chickens and Enterprise have been singled out by the Health Department with their polony testing positive for the ST6 type strain.

The products have since the recall been pulled off shop shelves.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says since the recall of Rainbow Chickens and Enterprise polony almost a month ago 23 more cases of listeriosis have been confirmed.

The NICD suspects more cases will still be reported as the incubation period of listeriosis can be up to 70 days.

The 23 people in question all contracted listeriosis prior to the recall.

Only 10 of them consumed the implicated food products and two had direct contact with it.

LAWSUIT

Meanwhile, lawyers pushing for a class action lawsuit against Tiger Brands and Enterprise Foods say they will be approaching the deputy Judge President to expedite the matter.

The application for a class action lawsuit was filed in the High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday morning.

Those who've been affected want the companies to be found liable for the deaths and injuries caused.

Lawyer Richard Spoor explained why this is so important.

He said: “Tiger, on our version, produced and distributed foodstuffs, ready to eat foodstuffs contaminated with a deadly poison. I think people forget, this disease kills one in five people who contract it.”

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