South Africa traces deadly listeria to processed meat, issues recall

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Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said the source has been traced to a food facility in Polokwane. However, such contamination of ready-to-eat processed meat products constitutes a health risk.

Providing an update on the impact of the disease at a media briefing on Sunday, he said that as of 2 March 2018, the number of laboratory-confirmed cases had risen to 948 since January 2017.

A chilly, handled meat item made by South Africa's greatest maker of buyer sustenances is the reason for the progressing outbreak, which has a shocking 27 percent casualty rate. "A total of 93 people which is 85 per cent of those infected who were interviewed by the NICD report to have had polony and other cold meats".

Motsoaledi said several children presented with gastroenteritis in Soweto earlier in the week. So did a stool sample from one of the children.

In addition to the Polokwane facility, another Enterprise facility located in Germiston in Gauteng Province tested positive for listeria but it is yet to be confirmed if it is the same ST6 strain.

"To conclude the investigation, whole genome sequencing analysis was performed from this Enterprise factory and the results became available midnight last night".

By Jan. 27, NICD had discovered a similar Listeria monocytogenes ST6 strain in Enterprise and RCL products as had been found in feces tests from the evil kids.

Tiger Brands said it was cooperating with authorities and RCL Foods said it would suspend all production of its Rainbow Polony brand.

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Listeria bacteria can sense when it is near other bacteria and secrete a sugary goo.

Together with the Public Service Accountability Monitoring (PSAM) Grocott's Mail has attempted to get clarity from the Makana Sub-District of the Eastern Cape Department of Health on monitoring and containment of listeriosis in Makana, as well as further confirmation of cases.

- anyone with a weakened immune system (due to HIV infection, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, people with transplants and those on immunosuppressive therapy such as oral corticosteroids, chemotherapy, or anti-TNF therapy for auto-immune disease).

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.

A veritable army descended on the Enterprise facility in Polokwane to collect samples there: representatives of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, three foreign advisors from the World Health Organisation, and government inspectors from two different departments. Motsoaledi urged anyone who has purchased Enterprise or Rainbow Chicken products to throw them away and clean out their fridges to avoid cross-contamination.

"We advise members of the public to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat", he said. He warned that two other sites could also be affected.

The Eastern Cape Department of Health was approached regarding public awareness and education efforts but have not yet commented at this time.

It means that the general status of hygiene of the population must still be a matter of priority to society as a whole, and must remain like that forever.