Listeria monocytogenes cultures are seen in a lab at The National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg. Picture: ALON SKUY
Listeria monocytogenes cultures are seen in a lab at The National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg. Picture: ALON SKUY

Tiger Brands wants the names and health information of every patient who contracted listeriosis‚ including what other diseases they had and autopsy information‚ say inside sources — but the Department of Health has fired back‚ saying it would not be legally permissible.

In April‚ Tiger Brands used a Promotion of Access to Information (PAIA) request to wrest the data of the 967 patients‚ reported or identified since 2017‚ from the National Health Laboratory Service‚ according to Tiger Brands spokesperson Nevashnee Naiker.

However‚ department spokesperson Popo Maja has vowed it will defend the right to not hand over people’s private medical information to lawyers.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said: "Ordinarily it is not allowed by law. People won’t go to hospital if they know their records will be given to a third party. We will have to check with lawyers if we are obliged to give them the data."

The number of people who are known to have contracted listeriosis has risen to 1‚024‚ and 199 of them have died. Most victims were younger than 28 days.

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