Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Listeriosis Outbreak: What You Need To Know

BSIP  UIG                       Listeria denitrificans viewed under SEM. Magnification 10000x BSIP UIG Listeria denitrificans viewed under SEM. Magnification 10000x
Jerome Frank | 06 March, 2018, 01:47

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.

Enterprise said it would undertake a national recall of its ready-to-eat meat product range.

"We are being extra cautious and vigilant, we are recalling all products made from the two facilities" and added that the government had only ordered the company to withdraw three product lines.

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.

On Jan. 12, a pediatrician treated nine school children for gastroenteritis. "We had long suspected that listeria can be found in these products", the ministry's communications director, Popo Maja, told Reuters.

In a statement, Tiger Brands said "We are all extremely concerned by listeriosis - we all want to find the source or sources of listeriosis, together with government".

Yes, this is the largest ever recorded outbreak of this severe form of listeriosis globally.

The company increased testing for Listeria and confirmed the presence of a strain of Listeria in some products on February 14.

At this point in time, MacDougall said he could not confirm what the financial implications to the group would be, but did say that "the cost of withdrawal (of products) out of all the market is at a high expense". So far, there were no positive listeria results reported.

SANCU urged authorities to monitor the recall process of contaminated products very carefully. "This testing includes for listeria". The sequence types of these isolates also are not known.

The DoH called for all polony products to be taken off shelves after detecting the virus in RCL Foods' Wolwehoek facility. It can contaminate foods that come in contact with it.

Tiger Brands is holding a press briefing after the company 's processed meat products were identified as a source of the deadly listeriosis outbreak.

South Africa is Zambia's second largest trading partner following a number of South African business entities operating in Zambia.

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