Effects of Listeria outbreak on farming not known - AgriSA

Consumers have been advised to thoroughly cook vegetables.

A microscopic view of the listeria bacteria. Picture: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

JOHANNESBURG - AgriSA says it’s experiencing a challenge in determining how big a problem Listeria is on farms as the source of the bacteria is unknown.

Consumers have been advised to thoroughly cook vegetables.

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Listeriosis is described as a serious, but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes, and is widely distributed in nature. It can be found in soil, water and vegetation.

Animal products and fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, can also be contaminated from these sources.

AgriSA’s Requier Wait says they’re not sure how much damage Listeria has done on farms because it’s been found in other places outside of farms.

“It’s very difficult. At this stage, we don’t know the source. It might be a case where someone buys something, and it goes wrong with the way it’s handled.”

Wait says he’s confident their members have been adequately informed about the bacteria.

“We’ve communicated to our members and the public about the risks. From our side, the main way we can help is to create awareness.”

Wait says AgriSA is observing trends closely and offering support where necessary.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)