'Listeriosis brands' to be removed from shelves

'Listeriosis brands' to be removed from shelves

'Listeriosis brands' to be removed from shelves

There they found two brands of polony, one from Enterprise and the other from Rainbow Chicken Limited.

Tiger Brands, which owns Enterprise, said in a statement on Sunday that a strain of listeria was detected in some Enterprise products on 14 February but the presence of the ST6 strain had not yet been identified at the time.

According to press reports, Polony and products from the Enterprise factory in Polokwane‚ Limpopo‚ are the source of almost 1,000 illnesses with almost 180 deaths.

All ready-to-eat products manufactured at the Rainbow facility in Sasolburg are being withdrawn, the company said.

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

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"As we were tracing the polony that these kids have ingested, it pointed to the production site in Polokwane". It can contaminate a wide variety of food types, including meat and meat products, dairy products (unpasteurised and pasteurised), fresh and frozen produce (fruits, vegetables and sprouts) and ready-to-eat products.

"Following the Minister of Health's announcement earlier this afternoon on the source of the listeria outbreak, Pick n Pay has acted immediately to withdraw all products from the manufacturing sites identified by the Department of Health".

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This particular strain of listeria monocytogenes that infected so many people is sequence-type 6 and was particularly "virulent". 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.

Woolworths, in a statement, said it had a team of food scientists and technologists who proactively manage food safety to prevent microbial contamination of food.

"As a company that prioritises the health and safety of consumers above all else, we are committed to ensuring that all Enterprise products, as identified, will be recalled as part of the directive received".

Rainbow Chicken polony is also a cause of listeriosis.

On Sunday the ministry of health announced a breakthrough in the listeriosis outbreak following several months of rigorous research.

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". The minister reiterated his call for high risk people such as pregnant women, very young infants, elderly persons and anyone with a weakened immune system due to HIV and cancer to completely avoid all processed meat.

Tiger Brands has upgraded testing for listeria and introduced additional hygiene monitoring since the confirmed outbreak in December 2017, the company said.

Motsoaledi urged the public to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat, even from other brands.

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