South African mother dies from listeriosis after her baby was infected by the 2018 Tiger brand polony virus

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They took away something that I was waiting for almost eight years of my life.”

For eight years, South African Thenjiwe Dido and her husband tried unsuccessfully to have children. In 2018, after eight years, and eight miscarriages, Thenjiwe was one month away from delivering her firstborn.

Thenjiwe Dodo’s son died 16 days after birth.

Thenjiwe was extra careful about what she ate while pregnant, knowing the fragility of the life inside her. Eight months into her pregnancy, Thenjiwe was unaware that Tiger Brand polony had been contaminated with Listeria.

“I knew that I could trust them with all my life when I bought the Polony. She explained Food Safety News , “I knew I could trust them with my life.”

The Tiger Brands polony listeriosis outbreak began at the start of 2017 and was officially declared over in September 2018 with 1,065 confirmed cases and at least 218 deaths.

Thenjiwe was severely ill with listeriosis. Her child and her life were in serious danger. Thenjiwe recalled that she had eaten the Tiger Brand product prior to her illness.

Although Thenjiwe was able to recover from her long battle with listeriosis and gave birth, Her newborn son was severely impacted by the infection and died just 16 days after his birth.

Thenjiwe is very angry at Tiger brands.

I do not buy anything from that brand anymore. They removed something I had been waiting for for eight years .”

Along with the 1,000 people affected by the Tiger Brand’s listeriosis outbreak, Thenjiwe is represented by Richard Spoor Attorneys and is still in a legal battle with the company over damages caused by the outbreak.

Tiger Brands is fighting the lawsuit regarding its role in the deadly epidemic. Marler Clark LLP, a Seattle law firm, is acting as a consultant to the case lawyers. They represent the victims on a contingency fee basis. This means that they are not charged.

To read about the impact of this outbreak, please see:

Tiger Brands outbreak killed young mother, leaving her twin sisters to raise her daughter
Mother describes uncertain future for her daughter after listeriosis infection
Uncertainty after the outbreak — ‘My niece may not know her father has died
Parents describe their baby’s ongoing treatment and their fears for his future

More background information about the 2017-2018 South Africa Listeria outbreak can be found here.

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