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Township Favorites Shunned Amid South African Meat Scandal

  • Listeriosis outbreak has killed 183, is the worst on record
  • Tiger Brands has recalled thousands of tons of meat products
Retail Operations At A Choppies Enterprises Ltd. Supermarket
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Updated on

At the Good Hope restaurant in Johannesburg’s Alexandra township, Bongiwe Maseko goes out of her way to assure customers that the food is safe to eat.

For hungry patrons hunting for a meal, it’s a frighteningly real concern as South Africa races to contain the world’s worst outbreak of listeriosis. The bacterial disease, which has killed 183 people, has been traced to a processed-meat factory and linked to a local favorite called polony. Manufacturer Tiger Brands Ltd. has recalled at least 3,700 metric tons of meat and the government recommends avoiding ready-to-eat processed meat products.