Listeriosis has finally been stopped - Motsoaledi

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

Listeriosis has finally been stopped - Motsoaledi

Aaron Motsoaledi declared that the Listeriosis outbreak is now over in the country.

Listeriosis killed at least 203 people in South Africa. They will be finished somewhere around the middle of October and then we will go and test and make a new announcement.

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.

He said it was now safe to eat processed meats including polony. For the past three months, no new cases of listeria of the outbreak strain has been identified.

The council noted that pork prices have dropped dramatically since the outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa, and while July reflected a recovery, prices are still 3.8% lower than July 2017.

The Enterprise factory in Polokwane is not open for production.

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. Enterprise Foods exported products to 15 countries in the African region but no linked cases were reported.

Motsoaledi said that 62% of the listeriosis cases were in Gauteng, and about 900 health inspectors in all districts were retrained.

More than 150 facilities that produce RTE meat have been inspected with food and environmental testing conducted for Listeria.

They identified 157 factories with listeria, and over 12 000 tons of food was recalled and destroyed.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the department will continue with its emergency response plan in the fight against listeriosis.

"No cases of listeria, due to the outbreak strain, have been identified since the first week of June 2018", the minister said.

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