But when Dawood Dawray of Safari Foods tried to return the “contaminated” rice and get a refund, the supplier refused.
Dawood says in March, he had bought R15 000 worth of rice from Akila Foods in Maitland which he then delivered to Groote Schuur Hospital “immediately”.
He says he was shocked when the hospital called him two months later to say they found worms in their pots after boiling the rice.
“I buy the rice from Akila Foods and then I resell it to the hospital,” Dawood explains.
“But in May they contacted me to say that when they [the hospital] boiled the rice, worms started to float to the top.
“I have never seen rice grains with eyes, so we went to fetch it.”
Dawray says the rice has an expiration date for 2019, so he took it back to Akila Foods to get a refund.
“The hospital gave us all 34 bags back and now Akila is refusing to take responsibility or reimburse me.”
The Daily Voice visited Dawood’s business premises in Rylands and saw worms similar colour to the rice grains, crawling inside the sealed bags.
Akila Foods general manager, Albie van Niekerk, confirms the sale.
“The rice was originally received in good condition and signed for by Safari Foods. We asked Safari Foods to bring us some sealed rice bags in order for us to do a full investigation into the cause of the infestation,” says Van Niekerk.
However, they discovered Safari Foods had the rice for more than two months and during this period, Akila had not received any complaints of worms from other customers.
“As the cargo was stored elsewhere for such a long period after purchase, Akila Foods cannot accept any responsibility for any insect infestation whatsoever.”
An angry Dawood says he will no longer do any business with Akila.
“We took the rice straight from them to Groote Schuur and I have been working with the hospital for a long time. Their store rooms are very clean and they are very strict. They [Akila] are not taking responsibility and I will not do business with them again,” Dawood says.