At the Good Hope restaurant in Alexandra, Johannesburg, 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 the country 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 polony. Manufacturer Tiger Brands has recalled at least 3,700 metric tons of meat and the government recommends avoiding ready-to-eat processed meat products. That’s bad news for Good Hope, which Maseko’s mother opened in 1983 and is famous for its kotas — a street food made from a hollowed-out quarter-loaf of bread, usually stuffed with fries, cheese, sausages and polony. The restaurant now buys from producers unaffected by the crisis and makes sure to fry all its meat, but business is still suffering, Maseko said. "We used to order about 100 loaves of bread a day, now I order only 20 or 30...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now