Africa meat as World Health Organization declares listeriosis outbreak 'largest ever',
- Author: Marjorie Miles Mar 06, 2018,
Mar 06, 2018, 1:43
In a statement, Mwamba announced that most cold meats that are stocked by retail chains were supplied by a company called Enterprise Food whose meat production was from Polokwane and Germiston.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced earlier that an Enterprise factory in Limpopo had been found to be the source of the outbreak of the disease. A total of 180 people have died as a result of eating these products.
Both companies, which say they are cooperating with the authorities, suspended processed meat production at their plants after health authorities ordered a recall of cold meats associated with the outbreak from outlets at home and overseas.
The minister also told South Africans not to consume ready-to-eat processed meat across the board due to the risk of cross-contamination.
On Jan. 12, a pediatrician treated nine school children for gastroenteritis.
The deadly source of listeriosis - which has been plaguing South Africa since January this year - has finally been found in Polokwane. "The outbreak strain, ST6, was confirmed in at least 16 environmental samples collected from this Enterprise facility". They had gathered to demand refunds on their purchases of ready-to-eat meat products that include polony - a local version of baloney sausage - sliced ham and Frankfurter-style sausages.
Here is what some the large supermarket chains said regarding Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken products.
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An investigation of the RCL Wolwehoek production facility is also underway, Motsoaledi said.
Customers were notified to return any Enterprise or Rainbow Chicken products bought at Food Lover's Market or Freshstop stores for a full refund, spokesperson Jean Harkett said in a statement on Tuesday. "Our products have always been grown, handled and packed under strict internationally-acknowledged food safety protocols and conditions".
The listeria bacteria is hard to test for, as it is not homogenously distributed in food.
Parent company Tiger Brands has responded, saying it has not been provided with any evidence to show there is a direct link between the listeriosis deaths and the company's products.
SANCU urged authorities to monitor the recall process of contaminated products very carefully.
RCL Foods manufactures a broad line of private label food products.