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renegadebusdallas.com April 25, 2018


South Africa blames food firms for world's worst listeria outbreak

06 March 2018, 01:43 | Franklin Nunez

The foods linked to listeria: Enterprise Russians‚ Rainbow Chicken polony and Enterprise polony

A screengrab of Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi briefing the media on the listeriosis outbreak on 4 March 2018

Shares in Tiger Brands and RCL Foods fell on Monday as both firms suspended processed meat production at their plants.

However, he warned that products such as Viennas, Russians, Frankfurters, other sausages and cold meats not typically cooked could also be affected due to the risk of cross contamination.

MacDougall told reporters that Tiger Brands exceeded the DoH request and recalled all of its products, "in the interest and safety of the consumer", however, he said that Tiger Brands can not take responsibility for the deaths of the 180 people, until such time that a direct link is confirmed.

"It is not that we are incompetent, or that we have inadequate resources", Maja said when asked why it had taken more than a year to find the cause of listeria.

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

. But he said everyone had a role to play - including agriculture, trade and industry and local municipalities - as he blamed a long food chain and a lack of stringent controls.

"Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from over 30 percent of the environmental samples collected from this site, which happens to be the Enterprise factory in Polokwane", Motsoaledi said.

The Enterprise unit of Tiger Brands had "a very strong brand in meat", he said, adding:"In the short term consumers will switch to other forms of protein".

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At this point in time, MacDougall said he could not confirm what the financial implications to the group would be, but did say that "the cost of withdrawal (of products) out of all the market is at a high expense".

South African public health officials, along with three technical advisers from the Geneva, Switzerland-based World Health Organization, visited a food production facility in Polokwane and conducted extensive food and environmental sampling, according to Motsoaledi.

National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said the bacterium is widely distributed in natural environment such as soil, water and contaminated food.

We are removing products that may be linked to the listeriosis outbreak from our stores.

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

"In a statement, RCL Foods said the company's board and management "...remain deeply concerned about this tragic outbreak, and its effect on many South Africans".

South Africa is Zambia's second largest trading partner following a number of South African business entities operating in Zambia.



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