The Listeriosis Outbreak is officially over, South Africans rejoice

South Africa: Listeriosis Outbreak Officially Over - Motsoaledi

South Africa: Listeriosis Outbreak Officially Over - Motsoaledi

Consumers are being advised to continue taking food safety precautions, especially when consuming cold meats and other ready-to-eat meat products.

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.

"The NICD (National institute for Communicable Disease) has shown us that there are between 60-80 cases of listeriosis every year in South Africa for the past five years", Motsoaledi said.

He also said that despite concerted efforts, investigators have not been able to pinpoint exactly where the outbreak originated.

To date, R12 million was spent during the response period to deal with the Listeriosis outbreak.

"Therefore, the conclusion is that the outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa is over".

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

The outbreak strain was traced to Tiger Brands' Enterprise factory in Polokwane. However, about 10 percent of outbreak victims were infected with one of at least 19 different strains of Listeria.

Symptoms from the food-borne disease include diarrhea, fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness.

He said 900 health inspectors were retrained and they inspected 157 factories.

The health minister also addressed the recent allegations of "fake food" being sold by some food retailers in parts of the country, saying that his department has not yet received any evidence of this. They expect the process will be completed by the end of September. More than 700 cases were recorded, which the World Health Organisation said was the largest ever recorded outbreak of the disease. Early investigation of groups of cases will detect outbreaks and identity affected food early.

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