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Motsoaledi urges public to remove Enterprise cold meat products from fridges

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi confirmed on Sunday the source of the current listeriosis outbreak is the Enterprise Food production facility in Polokwane.

Minster of Health Aaron Motsoaledi updating the media on listeria outbreak in South Africa. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The public has been urged to immediately remove ready-to-eat cold meat products, such as polony and sausages, from their fridges to avoid contaminating other foods.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi confirmed on Sunday the source of the current listeriosis outbreak is the Enterprise Food production facility in Polokwane.

The company's Germiston facility and the Rainbow Chicken Limited have also been implicated after polony products tested positive for the foodborne disease.

Motsoaledi has urged the public to remove these products from their fridges.

“Any human being in this country who has any of these products in their fridge must take them out completely. Yes, take them out completely and put them in a bag somewhere. If you have a spare fridge use it for that or just put them aside.”

Retail outlets and the public have also been urged to visit the national Health Department’s website for more advice.

WATCH: Source of deadly listeriosis outbreak found

WHAT IS LISTERIOSIS?

The Health Department defines listeriosis as a serious, but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium, listeria monocytogenes, which is widely distributed in nature and can be found in soil, water and vegetation.

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

Symptoms include:

• Flu like illness with diarrhoea including fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness.
• Infection of the blood stream which is called septiceamia.
• Meningoencephalitis (infection of the brain).

WHO IS AT RISK?

According to the World Health Organisation, the risk for travellers is generally low. However, it’s increased by consumption of unpasteurised milk, milk products and prepared meat products.

Newborn infants, pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals are particularly susceptible to listeriosis.

NUMBER OF CASES IN SA

At least 180 people have died from the food-borne disease since January 2017 and over 940 cases have been reported so far.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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