December 6, 2018 / 5:20 PM / 7 days ago

South Africa's Tiger Brands reopens meat plant after listeria outbreak

FILE PHOTO: A couple leaves Tiger Brands factory shop in Germiston, Johannesburg, South Africa, March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African authorities have given food maker Tiger Brands permission to re-open a factory closed after the world’s biggest listeria outbreak was traced to one of its facilities, the company said on Thursday.

South Africa issued a recall of all processed meat products called ‘polony’ and ordered the closure of some processing plants, including two belonging to Tiger Brands, in March after the disease killed more than 200 people.

The resumption of operations at the Tiger Brands factory in Polokwane, comes nearly two months after the company received the go ahead to restart production at another factory in Germiston, a town east of Johannesburg.

Production of ready-to-eat products would resume immediately, Tiger Brands said in a statement.

The company, which in May pegged the cost of the recall at 365 million rand including insurance claims, is also facing a class action suit from families of the victims of listeria - a disease that causes flu-like symptoms, nausea, diarrhea and infection of the blood stream and brain.

Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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