Listeria outbreak in S. Africa linked to processed meats

06 March, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Clint Gray
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South Africa's Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi announced that the government had narrowed down the sources of the deadly listeriosis outbreak to the facility of a processed meat supplier in Germiston in the north of the country. A total of 180 people have died as a result of eating these products.

The chief executive of Tiger Brands said on Monday there was no direct link between the deaths of more than 180 people who tested positive for listeria and its processed cold meat products.

He said they had contacted all customers to confirm that recalled products were removed from store shelves.

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

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Retailers Pick n Pay and Shoprite said they had withdrawn all listeriosis-linked food from their shelves.

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".

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.

What are your local supermarkets doing about products linked to listeriosis? As a company that prioritizes the health and safety of consumers above all else, we are committed to ensuring that all Enterprise products, as identified, will be recalled as part of the directive received. "...but the presence of the ST6 strain has not been confirmed by our tests", the company said.

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The listeria bacteria is hard to test for, as it is not homogenously distributed in food.

He warned that products such as viennas, russians, frankfurters, other sausages and cold meats which are not typically cooked, could also be affected due to the risk of cross-contamination. The sequence types of these isolates also are not known. "Our products have always been grown, handled and packed under strict internationally-acknowledged food safety protocols and conditions".

As shoppers queued up to return processed meat items and demand refunds, shares in the biggest food firm in Africa's most industrialised economy, Tiger Brands (TBSJ.J), tumbled because of its link to the outbreak that has spread since January 2017. The company operates across South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Uganda and Zambia.

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