Victims who can provide evidence that they have contracted Listeriosis as a result of eating infected food may be able to recover damages. Picture Cindy Waxa/ANA

Cape Town - Victims who can provide evidence that they have contracted Listeriosis as a result of eating infected food may be able to recover damages, said Kirstie Haslam, partner at DSC Attorneys.

For this claim to be pursued, the victim will have to establish that the manufacturer failed in their duty of care in terms of taking the reasonably necessary steps which were required in order to prevent the food being infected with the Listeriosis bacteria.

The victim will need to prove their diagnosis was a result of eating the infected food as well as where and when the food was purchased.

“Should a breadwinner who had a duty to support dependents and was in fact so supporting them, pass away as a result of contracting Listeriosis, those dependents may have a claim for the lost financial support which they have suffered as a result. In some instances, they may also be able to claim for the emotional trauma suffered as a result of the death of the family member,” said Haslam.

However, victims should seek legal representation as early as possible. "It would be wise to institute action no later than 3 years after becoming aware that you were infected.”

Retailers across the country have removed and are in the process of recalling ready-to-eat food products that are feared to be fertile carriers of the deadly listeria.

It was revealed last week that products from an Enterprise Foods production facility in Polokwane, Limpopo, are the source of the listeriosis outbreak.

The deadly disease has resulted in 180 deaths.