Listeria outbreak in S. Africa linked to processed meats

Listeria outbreak in S. Africa linked to processed meats

Listeria outbreak in S. Africa linked to processed meats

Ninety-three (85 percent) people reported eating ready-to-eat (RTE) processed meat products, of which polony was the most common followed by viennas/sausages and then other 'cold meats, ' he said.

Cape Town - The South African national basic education department on Monday moved to assure parents and learners that its national school nutrition programme was safe from listeriosis found in processed meats.

Enterprise and Tiger suspended their ready-to-eat meat productions, after authorities ordered to recall its products from national and global shops, while supermarket chains asked their clients to return the products and their money will be reimbursed.

Hundreds of customers have flocked to the South African factories suspected of being the source of the listeriosis infection which has claimed at least 180 lives in the last 14 months.

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The listeria bacterium was also traced to a Rainbow Chickens production facility in the Free State, but further tests were needed to identify the sequence type, he said.

Members of the public are demanding refunds for some of the meat products they bought and some are returning the goods.

. A plant owned by RCL Foods is also under suspicion. "I don't know, maybe I can get some disease", said Bongani Mavuso, a taxi driver, as he stood in line outside Enterprise's factory shop in Germiston, Johannesburg.

What are your local supermarkets doing about products linked to listeriosis?

The minister demanded that Russian and Vienna sausages, as well as the cold meat polony be removed from shelves immediately.

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. The fact that the source could not be found hurt all food suppliers in South Africa and they were all advised to test their products. "RCL Foods is treating the outbreak "...as a crisis internally..." but noted "...that the specific strain of the pathogen responsible for the outbreak has not been isolated to the Wolwehoek facility".

Food safety is of paramount importance to Woolworths and we take all issues regarding the production of our food...

The company was also recalling all its polony brands.

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