But that was cold comfort for those who had to deal with the stress and trauma of being infected or lost loved ones to the disease.
One such person who had to endure its devastating effects was a 32-year-old Pretoria East woman who asked not to be identified.
She said she was infected during her pregnancy in 2017 and eventually lost her baby.
She previously had suspicions that she was infected and visited a doctor who gave her medication for relief from her flu-like symptoms.
“Last year, I felt so cold and went to the hospital and I told the doctor that I suspected listeriosis.
“The doctor had no idea what I was talking about and gave me a Panado drip to treat my fever.
“Later, the doctor checked her computer and found information on an e-mail about listeria, but said I shouldn’t worry,” she said.
However, her worst fears were realised when her baby arrived early at six months.
“I only got confirmation I was infected when I was told it had caused my baby’s death. Only then I was given antibiotics to treat listeria.”
The woman said she usually ate Rainbow or Enterprise polony every morning as a snack.
She said her ordeal had caused her great emotional strain. “I struggled to cope after the death of my child and needed anxiety medication to keep going.
“I felt paranoid thinking that I still had the disease,” she said.
Although she wanted compensation for her pain and suffering, she said she did not have the financial resources to challenge the companies believed to be responsible.
“Apart from the money, I don’t know if I could handle the emotional strain of going to court,” she said.