Medicine

Health Minister Motsoaledi says South Africa listerosis outbreak is over

Health Minister Motsoaledi says South Africa listerosis outbreak is over

"Therefore, the conclusion is that the outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa is over". They will be finished somewhere around the middle of October and then we will go and test and make a new announcement.

"Whilst welcoming this, we hope that government will put into place a food safety regulatory body; staffed with people with relevant expertise from the state, civil society formations and academia; and hope that the industry, by a way of South African Meat Processors Association and related business bodies will come to the party", Fawu said in a statement late on Monday. For the past three months, no new cases of listeria of the outbreak strain has been identified.

This does not mean that people will no longer suffer from listeriosis - remember, listeriosis has occurred in South Africa for the past 40 years.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases also identified listeria at RCL's Rainbow Foods, resulting in a recall of all ready-to-eat processed meat products from the facility.

Symptoms from the food-borne disease include diarrhea, fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness.

More news: Serena Williams progresses to US Open quarterfinals

"Almost 900 environmental health practitioners in every health district in South Africa have been re-trained in factory inspections, food safety systems and testing of factories for Listeria".

On Monday Motsoaledi said recent reports of the sale of expired foods had been proved in some instances, but he said he was yet to see any proof of "fake food" as alleged by concerned consumers on social media.

On 4 March, Motsoaledi announced that the team had managed to trace the source of the listeriosis outbreak strain, known as ST6, to be from an Enterprise Foods production facility in Polokwane. They expect the process will be completed by the end of September.

Motsoaledi said it has not been established yet how the listeria emerged at the factory. Early investigation should detect outbreaks faster and identify affected foods quicker.


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