Two chain stores—Chipiku Plus and Shoprite—have burnt over four tonnes of meat and processed meat products of Tiger Brands from South Africa (SA) following a ban by both Malawi and South African governments.
Last week, the Ministry of Health and Population imposed a temporal ban on importation of processed meat and meat products from the Rainbow Nation following the outbreak of Listeriosis, which has so far claimed about 180 lives there.
In an interview, Chipiku director Pramod Kalaria said they burnt the meat products as one way of protecting their customers.
“We are today disposing of nearly two tonnes of the meat and meat products by Tiger Brands which has been banned both here and in South Africa. We have our customers at heart first, so we want to protect them and by burning the products, they should be assured that they are no longer on our shelves,” he said.
Kalaria said they are still calculating how much they have lost, but said it could be over K5 million.
Competition and Fair Trade Commission (CFTC) director of consumer welfare Lewis Kulisewa said they are pleased with the response from major chain stores.
He said their call to recall all products by Tiger Brands on the market has paid off and an inspection in the major supermarkets has proved that all products are off the shelves.
Said Kulisewa: “As CFTC, we are delighted that we have reached this stage. We appealed to supermarkets to recall products that have been banned in South Africa, and subsequently, were banned by the government of Malawi.”
Apart from Chipiku stores, Shoprite has also burned meat products from SA.
Listeriosis is caused by eating food contaminated with listeria, a monocytogenes bacterium which affects mainly pregnant women, newborns, the elderly and people with impaired immune systems.
Symptoms of the diseases include muscle aches, nausea and diarrhoea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache ensue.