S. Africa Says Processed Meat Demand Dropped 75% on Listeriosis

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s Department of Trade & Industry said preliminary research shows that the pork industry has been the hardest hit following an outbreak of listeriosis.

“The demand for processed meat has dropped by 75 percent and the demand for pork cold cuts by 50 percent, with an estimated decline in profits of 40 percent,” the department said in an emailed statement that contained responses to questions in parliament. “According to data from the Pork Producer’s Organization, two plants and one abattoir have closed down.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in March that the outbreak of listeriosis had killed at least 208 people since the start of 2017 and infected 1,038. It was traced to ready-to-eat processed meat products. Tiger Brands Ltd., the country’s biggest food producer, closed factories for cleaning and has recalled and incinerated more than 4,000 metric tons of products. It said in May the plants will probably stay shut most of the rest of the year.

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