ibusinesslines.com September 19, 2018

[LISTEN] Listeria outbreak is officially over - Motsoaledi

06 September 2018, 04:44 | Melissa Porter

South Africa: Listeriosis Outbreak Officially Over - Motsoaledi

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and members from various sectors brief the media on listeriosis and counterfeit food

The outbreak was first declared by the Health Minister in December a year ago with the source identified as ready-to-eat processed meat products manufactured at a Polokwane production facility.

Listeriosis killed at least 203 people in South Africa.

In December 2017, South African authorities announced the outbreak and made listeriosis a notifiable medical condition.

"Today's announcement means that ready-to-eat processed meat can now be safely consumed, as before the outbreak", Motsoaledi said.

Business Insider South Africa previously reported that Tiger Brands, the owner of Enterprise, can possibly pay between R100,000 and R2 million to the families of each of the victims of the outbreak.

Three months later, at the beginning of March, 180 people had died and just under 1 000 cases had been confirmed.

Subsequently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) increased its technical support to South Africa in April to help contain the outbreak, strengthen support and prevent future outbreaks.

On 4 March earlier this year, the Minister convened an urgent press briefing that ended up recalling all ready-to-eat processed meat products produced by Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Foods where listeria was identified.

SA's biggest food retailers then removed products believed to be linked to food-borne disease.

Nearly 900 environmental health practitioners from every health district in South Africa have been retrained in factory inspections, food safety systems, and testing of factories for Listeria.

All processed meat factories in South Africa were inspected by the Health Department, the Incident Management Team, and various metropolitan and district municipalities. This ongoing process is expected to continue into September 2018.

Motsoaledi said the outbreak led to more than 203 deaths in South Africa.

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