Wednesday, 13 November, 2019

Botswana intensifies surveillance as listeria outbreak spreads to Namibia

South African retailers have had to remove processed meat from Enterprise Food to deal with the listeriosis outbreak. EPA  Nic Bothma South African retailers have had to remove processed meat from Enterprise Food to deal with the listeriosis outbreak. EPA Nic Bothma
Patty Aguilar | 16 March, 2018, 01:53

This is when comparing last week's sales to those recorded the week before the March4 press briefing by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on the source of the outbreak.

Principal technical port health officer Obakeng Kgosiethata said the ministry has deployed different health practitioners to screen and ensure that none of the banned ready-to-eat food products get in the country. The institute spent the following months gathering and analyzing data from across the country. Listeriosis is a rare food-borne disease found in 10 cases per one million people and was first reported in South Africa early this year.

Rainbow Chicken Limited (RCL) also recalled its Rainbow polony as a precautionary measure, but comment was not immediately available for an update on progress.

Zimbabwe has banned the importation of ready-to-eat meat products such as sausages, polony, viennas, ham, meat spreads, corned meat, salami and pepperoni, from South Africa.

He said an investigation had traced the ST6 strain of the listeria bacteria, believed to be causing the deaths, to the company's factory in the Limpopo capital. In this particular situation, a cheap packaged meat product called "polony" is thought to be the culprit. Tiger Brands says it wants to be at the forefront of finding a solution to the national crisis and has hired a team of scientific experts to identify the cause of the outbreak.

Pregnant women, children, the elderly and people with weakened or underdeveloped immune systems - such as those with HIV/AIDS - are most likely to contract listeriosis. "While we know that polony is definitely implicated, there is a risk of cross-contamination", he said in a statement.

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NZ dollar stable before release of GDP data
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Both Enterprise factories are undergoing a deep-cleaning process.

Human rights lawyer Richard Spoor announced this week he is teaming up with USA food safety law firm Marler Clark to launch lawsuits on behalf of victims' families.

"The recall of products in neighboring countries is the responsibility of the companies and not the countries".

Reports indicate that since January previous year more than 900 people in South Africa have contracted listeriosis, which is caused by bacteria which can contaminate fresh food, notably meat.

The World Health Organisation has declared this the world's largest-ever outbreak of listeriosis.

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