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Zimbabwe also bans SA cold meat products in wake of listeriosis outbreak

Zimbabwe’s health ministry says that it is tightening surveillance at border posts and will confiscate and destroy the products if they’re found.

A man drops meat hampers - packets containing multiple products that cost roughly R200 - to security officials outside the Enterprise factory in Germiston. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

HARARE - Zimbabwe has joined the region in banning cold processed meat products from South Africa in the wake of the listeriosis outbreak that has killed 180 people since early last year.

Zimbabwe’s health ministry says that it is tightening surveillance at border posts and will confiscate and destroy the products if they’re found.

Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia on Monday announced bans on the country’s cold meat products.

Zimbabwe hasn’t experienced any listeria infections but it’s taking no chances.

Top health ministry official Gerald Gwinji says that surveillance teams have been set up to monitor imports into the country.

He says that significant quantities of cold processed foods are imported from South Africa, and that if found, they’ll be confiscated, quarantined and destroyed.

Gwinji says that until South Africa’s listeriosis outbreak is under control, Zimbabwe won’t allow high-risk food products into the country.

The World Health Organisation says that the outbreak is the largest ever recorded globally.