SA’s Listeriosis hysteria

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By Milda Mojapelo

This article can also be found in the print Edition 2 of VARSITY Newspaper.


So, a few days ago, I bought one of my favourite combo deals which consisted of a sausage roll and chips. As I collected my order, some random guy stared at me and, from underneath his breath, muttered the words, “You’re brave.” I was stunned at first but the lift quickly reached the top floor and I realised that I was actually placing my life in danger because…hey…LISTERIOSIS!


Ever since the health officials announced that the bacterium that has caused so many deaths in our country, can be traced to our absolute favourite processed foods, we are all in a state of disbelief as a nation. I mean, what is a good sandwich without polony? What is a hotdog roll without viennas? Or better yet, what is a KOTA without polony, special, Russian and Vienna? Nothing makes sense anymore. Before eating a meal, you have to be extra cautious and, I mean, it’s worse if you were nurtured by polony and cheese sandwiches because all you have left now is well… bread and butter.

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They say the best remedy to any bitter situation is laughter. So there was a blast on social media with the trend #PeopleWhoDeservePolony. South Africans, you are truly ungovernable. Most replies revolved around giving polony to your exes or your currents who are cheating or that group of students who always discuss the answers to the test you just wrote. The list is endless but who would have thought that polony would, one day, actually have the power to kill us? It’s real, guys – too real, in my opinion – but let us just try to be civil about the matter and not kill one another.

What we can do whilst waiting, though, is urge one another to stay away from list of banned processed foods, as issued by the Health Ministry, because we really need to live to see the resurrection of KOTA shops. It would also be of great help if we included this misery of ours in our prayers, as going back to the primary school life of eating Corn Flakes is just not ideal. On the brighter side, we can also use this as an opportunity to eat a slightly healthier diet, so add some fruits and honey to your muesli, granola or oatmeal and you’re good to go. This too shall pass… hopefully.

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