Namibia, Malawi pull SA meat products off shelves

They're following suit after Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia announced recalls earlier on Monday afternoon.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Namibia and Malawi are the latest countries to suspend imports of South African meat products due to the listeriosis outbreak.

They're following suit after Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia announced recalls earlier on Monday.

At least 180 people have died from listeriosis since early last year, with the health ministry tracing the outbreak to enterprise outlets in Polokwane and Germiston.

Meanwhile, Tiger Brands says it’s not been provided with any evidence to show there is a direct link between the 180 listeriosis deaths and the company’s products.

It comes just 24 hours after the health ministry revealed that the outbreak has been traced to Enterprise outlets in Polokwane and Germiston.

The firm's CEO Lawrence MacDougall gave an update on the outbreak at tiger brands in Bryanston on Monday afternoon.

He says low levels of listeria were found on 14 February.

At the same time, Tiger Brands says immediate action and corrective steps have been taken to address the listeriosis outbreak.

MacDougall says despite the outbreak, there are strict controls.

“To give you some insights, Enterprise foods follow some stringent protocols for the manufacture of quality food products, this includes monitoring and testing for the detection and management of pathogens, viruses and bacteria, including listeria.”

Tiger Brands has given the assurance that it's dealing with the situation as a matter of urgency and that food safety remains its top priority.