March 24, 2018

What to do if you have these 'listeriosis products'

06 March 2018, 01:45 | Rex Hubbard

BSIP UIG Listeria denitrificans viewed under SEM. Magnification 10000x

BSIP  UIG                       Listeria denitrificans viewed under SEM. Magnification 10000x

Tests were done and it was found that they had listeriosis.

The Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, announced on Sunday that the recent listeriosis outbreak which had resulted in 176 deaths across South Africa since January 2017, had been traced to meat processor Enterprise's Polokwane facility. The ST6 strain has been found in processed meat products from this facility, such as polony, sausages and other cold meats.

According to a report by News24, the discovery of the outbreak is credited to a paediatrician from Soweto. "I don't know, maybe I can get some disease", said Bongani Mavuso, a taxi driver, as he stood in line outside Enterprise's factory shop in Germiston, Johannesburg. He identified Enterprise as responsible for the outbreak.

The DoH called for all polony products to be taken off shelves after detecting the virus in RCL Foods' Wolwehoek facility.

Hundreds of customers have flocked to the South African factories suspected of being the source of the listeriosis infection which has claimed at least 180 lives in the last 14 months.


This is now the largest known outbreak of this disease in the world.

Meanwhile several Southern African nations including Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Namibia have banned several processed imports from South Africa, following the revelations that the listeria outbreak had been traced to ready to eat meat.

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South Africa's Department of Health taken to Twitter to warn the public of these findings. A few weeks ago the industry had to react to social media statements that listeriosis was found on apples in South Africa. A lot of questions are being asked on how this outbreak could be allowed to happen.

The fallout of the deadly listeriosis outbreak is likely to affect the books of Tiger brands and RCL foods.

The announcement prompted a frenzied clearing and cleaning of the shelves by local supermarkets chains Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Spar and Woolworths, which also urged consumers to return the meats for refunds.

Here are the retailers' statements.

The company increased testing for Listeria and confirmed the presence of a strain of Listeria in some products on February 14. Customers who bought any... "South Africa has an outstanding reputation as a credible and reliable source of safe and excellent quality fresh fruit".

"The big hit is going to come with inventory write-offs because they are recalling all these products".

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