Polony can be put back into your trolley - listeria outbreak is over

Ben Davidson
September 6, 2018

"The conclusion is that the outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa is over", the minister told a news conference.

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection that can cause severe illness - including severe sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis - sometimes resulting in lifelong harm and even death.

Motsoaledi said inspections were conducted after the chief directorate of environmental health within his department wrote to 52 municipalities and metropolitan areas requesting them to conduct inspections.

WHO, along with worldwide and local food safety experts agree that no new listeriosis cases have been identified since the first week of June 2018.

He says about 900 health practitioners have been taken for training to be educated on listeriosis.

These samples were sent for analysis and gave the team the breakthrough that they had been working so hard for.

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The plant was closed and Enterprise products were immediately pulled from shops nationwide.

"The operation revealed that 281 premises were operating without valid health certificates", Motsoaledi said. In March this year the Listeria was traced to a ready-to-eat sausage product known as polony made by Enterprise Foods. Listeria had also been identified at an RCL-owned facility (Rainbow Foods).

Products from these facilities were also recalled.

Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Monday said polony and processed meats are safe again after the department of health in March linked an Enterprise processed meats factory in Polokwane to the listeriosis outbreak.

"No cases of listeria, due to the outbreak strain, have been identified since the first week of June 2018", the minister said. Listeriosis has occurred in South Africa for the last 40 years before the outbreak.

"We should be mindful of the fact that the listeriosis outbreak should have never happened in the first place", Fawu said. This is why health officials have declared the outbreak officially over.

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