Tiger Brands Funds RSA Center for Food Safety


In an attempt to restore company image following the devastating Listeria outbreak in South Africa, Tiger Brands has partnered with Stellenbosch University to establish the first Center for Food Safety in the Nation.  The consortium funded by an initial grant of $720,000 will apply the experience in technology of scientist affiliated to the university to basic and applied food science research.


The 2017-2018 Listeria outbreak involved 1,060 laboratory-confirmed cases with 216 fatalities.

The source of infection was an Enterprise Foods plant owned by Tiger Brands producing a low-cost meat product (“polony”) consumed extensively in the Nation especially by lower-income demographics.


Despite a national recall and closure of the plant, it is apparent that some product is still available from unregulated informal food outlets and roadside stalls presenting a risk of additional cases which in all probability may not be diagnosed.


Professor Pieter Gouws, acting director for the Center for Food Safety noted, “We aim to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to develop and exchange knowledge, experience, and expertise in food safety, food defense and food processing.”  He added, “We have a mandate to work across all faculties and disciplines within Stellenbosch University and other entities, institutes, national and international higher education institutions, and public and private enterprises in South Africa and abroad.”


Tiger Brands hope that other stakeholders including the national government and retailers will participate in supporting the Center.