The listeriosis outbreak that killed more than 200 people in SA between 2017 and 2018 was fuelled by HIV and a lack of awareness of the risks of eating deli meat in pregnancy, according research published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday.

The source of the disease was eventually traced to polony made in a factory operated by Enterprise Foods, which is owned by SA’s biggest food producer, Tiger Brands. The JSE-listed company was forced to issue a product recall in SA and 15 other African countries and is defending a class-action lawsuit. Tiger Brands said in November it was considering offers for Enterprise Foods.  

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