College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

Source of listeriosis outbreak found

The statistics as at 2 March 2018 showed that the current listeriosis outbreak had caused close to 180 fatalities and almost 950 laboratory-confirmed cases of listeriosis in South Africa since December 2017.

On 4 March 2018, the Minister of Health, Dr Motsoaledi, announced on eNCA that the source has been traced to ready-to-eat cold meat manufactured by Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken Limited.  This has been confirmed by laboratory results.

Ready-to-eat cold meats include polony, viennas, russians, frankfurters, other sausages and cold meat products that are usually not cooked before eating.  Other products stored with them should also be avoided, as cross-contamination from packaging can take place during either production, distribution or retail.

Although the source has been found, investigation continues, as on 2 March Australia reported three fatalities related to listeriosis traced to contaminated rock melon (also known as “spanspek”).

Message to consumers

Avoid ready-to-eat processed cold meats and continue to observe hygiene and control measures as recommended in the Intcom communiqué of 7 February 2018.

Remember that thorough cooking kills the bacterium!



by Prudence Kayoka

Publish date: 2018-03-05 00:00:00.0