Lis­te­rio­sis shuts down fac­tory

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Muzi Zin­c­ume

THE lis­te­rio­sis out­break has forced an Em­pan­geni fac­tory to sus­pend all its pro­duc­tion, while they wait for a foren­sic lab­o­ra­tory re­port from the De­part­ment of Health to know whether or not the fac­tory is free of the bac­te­ria.

Fac­tory man­age­ment told its em­ploy­ees on Thurs­day not to re­port to duty un­til they re­ceive the re­port.

How­ever, the em­ploy­ees were not happy with the de­ci­sion, ar­gu­ing that they have noth­ing to do with the out­break.

The Pro­vin­cial Sec­re­tary of the United Chem­i­cal In­dus­tries Min­ing Elec­tri­cal

State Health and Aligned Workers Union, Bheki Sha­bane, said the workers are very dis­ap­pointed and an­gry.

‘We are shocked that our mem­bers were sus­pended with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, with­out any prior no­tice,’ said Sha­bane.

Best Grade fac­tory man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Nku­l­uleko Luthuli, told the ZO they had no choice but to sus­pend all their pro­duc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties un­til the De­part­ment of Health pro­vides them with proof their fac­tory is not con­tam­i­nated.

‘On 5 Fe­bru­ary, our fa­cil­i­ties were in­spected by the De­part­ment of Health and this month, dur­ing our meet­ing, the of­fi­cial stated that owing to back­logs at state lab­o­ra­to­ries, our re­sults have not been re­turned and there is no def­i­nite time­line as to when this will hap­pen.

‘It is vi­tal to mention that our fac­tory and our prod­ucts have not been im­pli­cated in the lis­te­ria out­break, but owing to the se­ri­ous­ness of the mat­ter, the pres­sure on the pro­cessed meat in­dus­try and cus­tomers want­ing cer­tainty about prod­ucts, we de­cided to take pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures,’ said Luthuli.

Luthuli also said that all workers will be paid their full salaries at the end of this month.

An at­tempt to get com­ment from the De­part­ment of Health was un­suc­cess­ful.

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