Contaminated sausages cause panic in South Africa

Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi

The Zambian Mission in Pretoria recently requested the South African government to put precautionary health measures in place to ensure that all the country's food exports to Zambia were free of the food borne disease.

Major supermarket in South Africa have started removing meat products from their shelves believed to be processed at factories contaminated with Listeria, which has killed 180 people since 2017.

MacDougall said although the National Consumer Commission ordered Enterprise Foods to recall three products‚ the company had chose to be extra vigilant and voluntary recall all products produced at its facilities in Germiston‚ Gauteng‚ and Polokwane in Limpopo.

Hundreds of customers have flocked to the South African factories suspected of being the source of the listeriosis infection which has claimed at least 180 lives in the last 14 months.

It also said it was investigating a plant owned by RCL Foods (RCLJ.J) that makes a similar product, whose shares also slid on Monday before recovering.

Motsoaledi noted that contamination of RTE processed meat products is a health risk and more than 10 percent of environmental samples collected by public health officials at the Wolwehoek facility tested positive for the pathogen.




What have RCL and Tiger brands said?

On Sunday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the outbreak was traced to Enterprise's Polokwane facility, after several children presented with gastroenteritis in Soweto earlier in the week.

"This is because Listeria on the exterior casing (packaging) of polony can be transferred to other products it comes into contact with, including viennas, russians, frankfurters, other sausages, and other "cold meat" products that are typically not cooked before eating", he said. He said the company immediately quarantined all those products.

The announcement prompted a frenzied clearing and cleaning of the shelves by local supermarkets chains Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Spar and Woolworths, which also urged consumers to return the meats for refunds. I'll be scared even if they say this problem is solved. Standard Bank analyst Sumil Seeraj estimated the recall would cut operating profit at Tiger Brand's value added foods division by 6 percent at most.

The company was also recalling all its polony brands.

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