Medicine

Polony, sausages removed after listeriosis breakthrough

Polony, sausages removed after listeriosis breakthrough

Both polony samples tested positive for the bacteria that causes listeriosis, Listeria monocytogenes. The fatality rate was 40 percent. "Recalled meat is being isolated and will be safely destroyed", Pick n Pay, which has 1,420 stores in South Africa, said in a statement.

At the last media briefing held on 08 January 2018, I reported that a total of 727 laboratory-confirmed cases of listeriosis had occurred since 01 January 2017.

Rainbow Chicken polony is also a cause of listeriosis.

"We can now conclude scientifically that the source of the present outbreak is the Enterprise Food production facility located in Polokwane", he said at the offices of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg.

Tiger Brands, on behalf of its division Enterprise Foods, has committed to recalling products that are identified with listeriosis outbreak, but are conducting its own tests as well. 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. "In addition, as a precaution, Pick n Pay branded chicken polony, manufactured by Rainbow, is also being withdrawn", he said.

"We advise members of the public to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat", he said.

The National Consumer Commission has issued safety recall notices to those manufacturers and facilities, and the companies are now responsible for coming up with the recall plan.

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Sunday's general health cautioning and the prepared to-eat meat recalls will probably start to contain the outbreak, yet the truth will surface eventually how rapidly that happens.

This is what most of the patients in the outbreak that killed 180 people were infected with.

With the exception of the significantly higher numbers, South Africa's listeria outbreak is shockingly like Canada's involvement in 2008.

In January Motsoaledi acknowledged that the disease was first discovered by doctors from neonatal units in the Chris Hani Baragwanath and Steve Biko Hospitals in July 2017 - who then alerted the NICD.

"While we realize that polony is certainly ensnared, there is a danger of cross-sullying of other prepared to-eat handled meat products, either at generation, conveyance or retail", as per the minister's announcement.

According to the National Department of Health's "Clinical Guidelines on Management and Control of Foodborne Diseases" issued in 2011 an outbreak is defined as "two or more linked patients presenting with acute gastrointestinal, neurological, hepatic or hemorrhagic manifestation after having a shared/common meal/beverage during the past 72 hours". Preliminary results on samples from other Enterprise plants also show Listeria contamination, but the strains have not been confirmed.

The Eastern Cape Department of Health was approached regarding public awareness and education efforts but have not yet commented at this time.


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