on assignment: South Africa

JOHANNESBURG — The World Health Organization (WHO) reported it was the largest Listeria outbreak on record. After 1,060 confirmed cases and 216 deaths between January 2017 and July 2018, officials in South Africa declared an end to the outbreak linked to polony made by Enterprise Foods.

But, many people in the country are still physically, emotionally or financially dealing with the after effects for themselves, relatives, or someone else they knew who became infected after eating the ready to eat meat product. Polony is similar to baloney and hot dog products sold in the United States, but is often made with chicken instead of beef and/or pork.

South African law firm Richard Spoor Inc. Attorneys has teamed up with the Seattle food safety law firm Marler Clark LLP  to bring a class action lawsuit against Tiger Brands on behalf of those sickened in the outbreak.

In early February, I traveled to Johannesburg and interviewed some of the people that have been affected by the outbreak. With polony now back on supermarket shelves and nearly eight months on from the official end of the outbreak, Food Safety News will be publishing a series of stories ensuring the public’s voice is heard.

The video posted here provides a preview of the people and places I visited in South Africa.

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