Listeriosis Outbreak Officially Over - Motsoaledi

South Africa: Listeriosis Outbreak Officially Over - Motsoaledi

South Africa declares end of listeria outbreak that killed 200

The world's deadliest listeria outbreak is over‚ Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced on Monday.

Listeriosis cases have been recorded for 40 years in South Africa.

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

"We should be mindful of the fact that the listeriosis outbreak should have never happened in the first place", Fawu said.

The Listeria outbreak strain sequence type 6 (ST6) was identified in patient isolates, in the polony, and the processing environment of Enterprise Foods.

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

According to the minister, it is now safe to chow down on South Africa's favourite meal - the Kota (half-loaf of bread that is stuffed with meats, often sold in townships). Enterprise foods had been identified as the main source of the food-borne disease.

The Polokwane Enterprise factory is no longer allowed to produce meat while the Rainbow Chicken factory, as well as Enterprise in Germiston, have been provisionally allowed to produce food.

Approximately 900 environmental health practitioners in every South African health district was re-trained in factory inspections, food safety systems, and Listeria testing within food facilities.

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.

The country has destroyed more than 5,800 tons of recalled meat since the beginning of March, when it linked the products to the outbreak and named a plant owned by Tiger Brands as the source of the crisis. This ongoing process is expected to continue into September 2018. The listeria strand was not found at the factories and R12 million has been spent on the response to the outbreak. Early investigation should detect outbreaks faster and identify affected foods quicker.

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