Township fast food businesses say they have suffered financial losses since the listeriosis outbreak was linked to polony and other read to eat meat products. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Small scale fast food businesses in Umlazi township are being hammered after the source of the listeriosis outbreak was found to be polony and other processes meat products.

Last week, the health department announced that the source of the outbreak that has killed close to 200 people and infected close to 1000 had been found at an Enterprise production facility in Polokwane, Limpopo.

As a precautionary measure, Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi advised that people should refrain from consuming any ready to eat processed meat products from any suppliers.

The Mercury visited the township on Thursday to find out how fast food businesses in townships were coping following the health minister's warning.

Several business owners said they faced financial ruin as the key ingredient of the meals they sold included polony, sausages, or other processed meats.

Some of their customers, aware of the health issue, had mixed views, with some saying they were heeding the caution and staying away from the “offending products” while others said they do not care.

One business owner said: “Since the day the news broke, our business have suffered. School children and the community do not want food that has polony, sausages or russians, they believe that they could die.

He said he did not use the brands that have been implicated in the outbreak.

“We plead with the government to communicate much more clearly with the public to tell them that not all (meats) are infected, its only certain brands.

A customer, who came to buy vetkoek and polony, said he did not care about the report, “at this rate we might have nothing left to eat.”