Polony can come back into your diet: listeria outbreak declared over

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and members from various sectors brief the media on listeriosis and counterfeit food

He said no new cases of the disease had been reported in three months.

At the time the source of the listeriosis outbreak was identified as polony and products from an Enterprise Foods factory in Polokwane‚ Limpopo.

The listeriosis outbreak in South Africa was first noted in October past year, when the NICD discovered an increase in listeria throughout South Africa, with more than 365 documented cases. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, but Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

"Today's announcement means that ready-to-eat processed meat can now be safely consumed, as before the outbreak", he said.

The government announced on December 5 a year ago that the country was hit by a listeriosis outbreak that was later traced to two food-processing factories in the country, prompting a recall of 5,812 tonnes of affected food stuffs.

He said counterfeit goods were an imitation of the original product, while fake foods have been used on social media to refer to products that contain substances such as plastic.

According to the World Health Organisation, this outbreak was the largest recorded globally to date. As of the last Situation Report, released in July 2018, there were 1,060 laboratory-confirmed cases and 216 deaths. Early investigation groups will detect outbreaks and identify affected foods early.

Every factory in the country‚ a total of 157‚ that makes processed meat has been inspected by WHO health inspectors and environmental health inspectors. South African consumers are warned that this does not mean that no one will ever be infected with Listeria bacteria. These include washing hands‚ keeping raw and cooked food separate‚ cooking food thoroughly‚ using safe water and storing food at safe temperatures.



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