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Sales for the country’s number one snack, sphatlo (bunny chow), were expected to plunge to all-time lows after health authorities warned some of its ingredients contained traces associated with the deadly listeriosis outbreak.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi dropped the bombshell last Sunday, 4 March.
Processed food products such as polony, cold meat, ham, meat spreads, corned meat, salami, pepperoni, frankfurters, vienna and smoked Russian, have been singled out.
Many of the latter food products are widely used as part of the sphatlo sandwich snack, most popular with schoolgoing kids, and many adults.
Backyard fast food-selling outlets around the Waterberg were scrambling around for alternative food sources, fearing a potential sharp decline in sales.
Modimolle braai outlet operator, William Mashamaite, said his business offered both the disputed sphatlo, and also poultry and animal meat products.
He said there was no need for small business operators to panic, as there were alternative food products to replace the disputed foodstuffs.
Civil activist, Majeed Aphiri, said an even better alternative would be for the fast-food outlets to switch to healthier snack products such as lettuce, tomato and cucumber.
Minister Motsoaledi said the outbreak of listeriosis was traced to the “Enterprise Food production facility located in Polokwane.”
The Tiger Brands group of companies moved swiftly and halted production at plants in Polokwane and Germiston.
Retail outlets from across the Waterberg and beyond, immediately recalled a host of products fingered by the Minister.
2 months ago 08 March 2018