Following the media statement issued by the Minister of Health on 4 March 2018 related to the recent outbreak of Listeriosis in South Africa, RCL FOODS’ Board and management remain deeply concerned about this tragic outbreak, and its effect on many South Africans. It is being treated as a crisis internally, and a senior team is in contact with all relevant stakeholders to discuss the significant impacts of this issue.

RCL FOODS can confirm that its Wolwehoek processing plant has taken the pre-cautionary measure to suspend all production of RCL FOODS’ Rainbow Polony brand. Additionally, it is in the process of recalling all Rainbow Polony products from its entire customer base. This is despite the fact that the results from testing of its polony product is still pending. In line with the Department of Health’s (DoH) announcement, it must be highlighted that the specific strain of pathogen responsible for the outbreak has not been isolated to the Wolwehoek facility. RCL FOODS is continuing its detailed discussions and is working closely with representatives from the DoH, the Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries (DAFF), and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). RCL FOODS is sharing all results from its testing, both internally and externally, with the relevant authorities.

RCL FOODS’ Stephen Heath commented, “In line with RCL FOODS’ strict food safety protocol, we have rigorous food safety procedures in place which include our own regular product and environmental testing, and these have been further strengthened as a precautionary measure in recent months. Rigid controls remain in place to mitigate any food safety risks, including microbiological risks, at all our food production facilities. We will continue to take every precaution to safeguard our products as well as our consumers.”

All RCL FOODS facilities are FSSC (Food Safety System Certification) 22000 or ISO 22000 compliant. As part of RCL FOODS’ Food Safety Management System (FSMS) the company follows strict procedures for pathogen management.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Hazard identification and Risk Assessments;
  • Raw material management (SQA, Microbiological verification);
  • Cleaning procedures;
  • Procedures to prevent cross contamination; and
  • Scheduled testing of products and processing environments.

Additional announcements will be made in due course.

Note: It has been stated on social media commentary that Enterprise forms part of RCL FOODS. Please note that RCL FOODS is not the owner of Enterprise and does not manufacture any of its brands.