Medicine

RSA listeriosis outbreak traced to meat

RSA listeriosis outbreak traced to meat

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. The outbreak was finally traced after infecting people for more than a year.

MacDougall said although the National Consumer Commission ordered Enterprise Foods to recall three products‚ the company had chose to be extra vigilant and voluntary recall all products produced at its facilities in Germiston‚ Gauteng‚ and Polokwane in Limpopo.

Harkett said all recalled products were being segregated and will be retained until they are removed from their stores by Tiger Brands and RCL Foods in accordance with their recall plans.

Two of South Africa's largest supermarket chains, Pick n Pay and Woolworths, have wasted no time in removing any products associated with the outbreak. "We had long suspected that listeria can be found in these products", the ministry's communications director, Popo Maja, told Reuters.

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

The food industry in South Africa was complex and it would be irresponsible to start speculating now about the possible reasons for the listeriosis outbreak, according to Prof Celia Hugo, a microbiologist at Free State University.

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"I already packed my kids' lunch with this product, so I'm shocked", said Tshepo Makhura, a 37-year-old call centre agent, who had returned to one store to demand a refund. "...but the presence of the ST6 strain has not been confirmed by our tests", the company said. The children were tested for the disease and delivered positive results.

SANCU urged authorities to monitor the recall process of contaminated products very carefully.

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria included a variety of stems. The sequence types of these isolates also are not known.

Tiger Brands is holding a press briefing after the company 's processed meat products were identified as a source of the deadly listeriosis outbreak. Rhodes Food, RCL Foods and Astral Foods each have less than 5 percent. It can contaminate foods that come in contact with it.

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