Ekram Sorken said he had stopped selling vetkoek with polony after the outbreak was announced.
“I decided to stick with selling vetkoek and cheese,” he said.
Sorken said this as Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi last week announced there had been no new cases for the past three months. Independent Online earlier this year reported that listeria had resulted in more than 200 deaths since the National Institute for Communicable Diseases discovered the outbreak last year.
A class action suit against Tiger Brands, which sells processed meat, was instituted.
Sorken, who operates a store at Dr Yusuf Dadoo (Broad) Street, said he was not aware of Motsoaledi’s announcement, but would soon start stocking up on the polony.
Mohamed Ali, a store owner at Anton Lembede (Smith) Street, said he had also had to resort to selling vetkoek with cheese in the aftermath of the outbreak. “I stopped selling them as I was trying to stop people from complaining about polony. As a businessman, I will obviously have to start stocking up on them now,” Ali said.
For others, the ban did not have a negative effect on their sales as demand for vetkoek had stayed the same during the outbreak. A spaza shop owner at the Durban University of Technology said there was no change in sales as students still wanted vetkoek and polony. “We just kept buying and selling as normal,” she said, adding that she sourced her stock from alternative suppliers.
Nkululeko Lutuli, South African Meat Processors Association spokesperson, said they welcomed Motsoaledi’s announcement. He said the meat processing industry had taken a heavy knock during the listeria outbreak. “We have seen that consumers have started to buy the products again,” Lutuli said.