SA Reacts To Worst Listeriosis Outbreak Yet

Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi updates the media on the status of the current listeriosis outbreak in the country on 8 January 2018

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.

MacDougall told reporters that Tiger Brands exceeded the DoH request and recalled all of its products, "in the interest and safety of the consumer", however, he said that Tiger Brands can not take responsibility for the deaths of the 180 people, until such time that a direct link is confirmed.

The company added that while a direct link between the outbreak and its Wolwehoek facility has not been confirmed, it has taken precautionary measures to suspend all of its production of Rainbow Polony brand at the facility and has also recalled all Rainbow Polony products from its entire customer base.

On Jan. 12, a pediatrician treated nine school children for gastroenteritis.

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

"Hortgro believes it is a relief that the source has been found".

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Meanwhile, Mozambique's agriculture ministry announced that it would immediately ban imports of South African chilled meats in an effort to contain the listeria outbreak.

Here is what some the large supermarket chains said regarding Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken products. "We are working very closely with the officials at present to conduct the process and will provide updates to the public on this matter". So far, there were no positive listeria results reported.

We are removing products that may be linked to the listeriosis outbreak from our stores.

Keeping them among other products could cause cross contamination. The sequence types of these isolates also are not known.

A key concern is that this outbreak started in a manufacturing facility owned by a large listed company, Tiger Brands (Pty) Ltd which has a good record of food manufacturing safety to date. In addition, all ready-to-eat products such as polony and Russian sausages manufactured at the Rainbow facility in Sasolburg were also being withdrawn. It can contaminate foods that come in contact with it.

Scheduled testing of products and processing environments. The company operates across South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Uganda and Zambia.

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