Health Care

Africa meat as World Health Organization declares listeriosis outbreak 'largest ever',

Africa meat as World Health Organization declares listeriosis outbreak 'largest ever',

Cold meat products are seen in a trolley after they were removed from the shelves of Pick n Pay Store in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 5, 2018.

South Africa's Health Ministry said the source was found after pre-school children fell ill from eating polony products traced to processed meat producers.

Shoprite said it had on Sunday afternoon started removing all ready-to eat-processed meat products produced by Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken from its perishable departments and delicatessens.

It is reported that so far 180 people country-wide have died from listeriosis, which has sparked panic across the country.

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.

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

He said food safety remained the company's priority.

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Motsoaledi said the recent outbreak was traced to Enterprise's Polokwane facility.

South Africa's Health Minister, Arron Motsoaledi, told a media briefing over the weekend, that the Enterprise facility in Germiston, east of Johannesburg, was the source of the outbreak.

Tiger Brands advised consumers to remove any Enterprise ready-to-eat products from their fridges and place them in a plastic bag away from other products. It added that no link has been made between its Wolwehoek facility and the outbreak.

In statements to reporters yesterday, Motsoaledi called on people to avoid consuming sausages and similar products that might be contaminated, and said that other facilities of the company are under investigation, and tests are being made to determine if their products contain the risky bacteria.

Zambia's health minister Chitalu Chilufya said the ban would also include dairy products, vegetables and fruits. Malawi stepped up screening of South African food imports. "I would rather go back to peanut butter and jam".

He said: "There was no way that they were going to have this outbreak if there was no lapse".

"We are committed to ensuring that all Enterprise products will be recalled. That's most likely where they will lose because the inventory write-off will affect operating profit from that division", Seeraj said.