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

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

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

The Zambian Mission in Pretoria recently requested the South African government to put precautionary health measures in place to ensure that all the country's food exports to Zambia were free of the food borne disease.

The outbreak has claimed 180 lives in South Africa and has been described by the World Health Organisation as the biggest documented outbreak of listeria. The outbreak was finally traced after infecting people for more than a year.

The company has suspended all production of RCL Foods' Rainbow Polony brand and is recalling all Rainbow Polony products despite the fact that test results of its polony product are still pending.

Since January 2017, 948 people have contracted listeriosis which is caused by bacteria from soil, water, vegetation and animal feces which can contaminate fresh food - notably fresh meat.

It was unacceptable that major food suppliers with high profile brands allowed such lapses in food safety controls, she said in a statement.

Motsoaledi said the disease was traced after several children presented with gastroenteritis in Soweto.

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Supermarkets in South Africa have been clearing a popular sausage from the shelves after it was blamed for a food poisoning outbreak behind 180 deaths.

A key concern is that this outbreak started in a manufacturing facility owned by a large listed company, Tiger Brands (Pty) Ltd which has a good record of food manufacturing safety to date.

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. "It is devastating for me to have our products linked to this outbreak".

Both companies, which say they are cooperating with the authorities, suspended processed meat production at their plants after health authorities ordered a recall of cold meats associated with the outbreak from outlets at home and overseas.

"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. Malawi stepped up screening of South African food imports.

Dozens of customers lined up outside a Tiger Brands outlet with bags of cold meat products and demanding their money back. Environmental health officials were notified and obtained samples from two unrelated polony brands manufactured by Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken Ltd. (RCL) which were submitted for testing the same day.

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