Source of Listeriosis outbreak confirmed

Joy Montgomery
March 5, 2018

Motsoaledi said retailers must clean their fridges, meat slicers, and either remove the ready-to-eat meat products or place them in plastic bags in separate fridges - ahead of the recall. 742 cases were reported in 2017 and 206 this year.

The health minister said preparatory outcomes demonstrate a few prepared to-eat handled meat products from the Enterprise office situated in Germiston contain Listeria monocytogenes, however the arrangement compose isn't yet known.

Aaron Motsoaledi, health minister, advised the public to avoid processed meat products sold as RTE.

"The company proactively amplified its testing for listeria and can confirm that we had found a low detection of a strain of listeria in some products on 14 February but the presence of the ST6 strain [the outbreak strain] has not been confirmed by our tests".

"We are committed to ensuring that all Enterprise products, as identified, will be recalled as part of the directive received", it said.

"Such contamination of ready-to-eat processed meat products constitutes a health risk". Motsoaledi said it was at that stage of the investigation that officials chose to "visit all food-processing sites, food-packaging sites as well as food production sites where possible". Of these 948, a total 659 patients have been traced and 180 of them have unfortunately died.

Thomas explained that even though Rainbow Food's chicken polony factory in Sasolburg had tested positive for a different strain of listeria‚ there were patients who had also got sick from this strain. The fatality rate was 40 percent. The environmental health practitioners (EHPs) were informed and on the same day visited the crèche, and obtained samples from two unrelated polony brands (manufactured by Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken Limited (RCL) respectively) and submitted these to the laboratory for testing.

Rita Moreno wears 1962 Oscars dress to Sunday's ceremony
The black strapless frock features a black bottom adorned with gold flower embellishments. Rita Moreno at the Oscars in 1962, and 2018.

Motsoaledi said South Africa "can now conclude scientifically that the source of the present outbreak is the Enterprise Food production facility located in Polokwane".

The National Consumer Commission has issued safety recall notices to those manufacturers and facilities, and the companies are now responsible for coming up with the recall plan. The outbreak strain, ST6, was confirmed in at least 16 environmental samples collected from this Enterprise facility.

This particular strain of listeria monocytogenes that infected so many people is sequence-type 6 and was particularly "virulent".

"You are most welcome to return any Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken cold meat products for a refund". The public is warned that foods such as polony are implicated, with a probable chance that this may contaminate other ready-to-eat foods.

Those at high risk of developing severe disease include newborns, the elderly, pregnant women, persons with weak immunity such as HIV, Diabetes, Cancer, Chronic liver or Kidney disease.

The Eastern Cape Department of Health was approached regarding public awareness and education efforts but have not yet commented at this time. The problem was a design flaw that inhibited thorough cleaning.

Other reports by PlayStation Move reviews

Discuss This Article