South African Listeria Linked to Polony from Enterprise

Ready-to-Eat Processed Meat: Source of South Africa's Listeria Outbreak

While the report named water as the potential source, the claim was strongly refuted by Health Department Spokesperson, Sizwe Kupelo.

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

Results from the factory became available at Saturday midnight, prompting the Health Minister to hold an urgent media briefing in which he informed the public to avoid all processed meat products immediately.

"Customers who bought any Enterprise product (including Bokkie‚ Renown‚ Lifestyle‚ Mieliekip) or any Rainbow ready-to-eat products‚ such as polony or Russians‚ can return the product for a full refund". "We advise members of the public to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat", said the Minister.

Listeria on the exterior casing (packaging) can be transferred to other products such as "cold meat" items typically not cooked before eating.

By Jan. 27, NICD had found the same Listeria monocytogenes ST6 strain in Enterprise and RCL products as had been found in stool samples from the ill children.

More than 300 samples were taken from the factory and 16 tested positive for listeria monocytogenes strain ST6‚ the strain most to blame for this outbreak.

Motsoaledi said South Africa "would now be able to close deductively that the wellspring of the present outbreak is the Enterprise Food generation office situated in Polokwane".

"Enterprise and Rainbow supply a very broad range of retailers across South Africa", the national retailer said in a statement.

The Shoprite Group confirmed on Sunday that it has started to remove the products of Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken from its shelves. This is why Rainbow Chicken polony was being recalled. This action is taking place in all Pick n Pay and Boxer stores. "In addition, as a precaution, Pick n Pay branded chicken polony, manufactured by Rainbow, is also being withdrawn".

All fridges and food preparation areas in Pick n Pay shops would now be re-cleaned to prevent any cross-contamination. "Recalled meat is being isolated and will be safely destroyed", spokeswoman Tamra Capstick-Dale said in a statement.

Of great concern at the time was that of the hundreds of laboratory confirmed listeriosis cases, less than a quarter could be traced.

A veritable army descended on the Enterprise facility in Polokwane to collect samples there: representatives of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, three foreign advisors from the World Health Organisation, and government inspectors from two different departments.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Health has discovered the source of the listeriosis outbreak. The public is warned that foods such as polony are implicated, with a probable chance that this may contaminate other ready-to-eat foods.

Nationally, provincial outbreak response teams are to be created as a way to expedite and ensure proper follow through of procedures.

The Western Cape recorded the second highest number of cases reported, with Gauteng recording the highest.

In January Motsoaledi acknowledged that the disease was first discovered by doctors from neonatal units in the Chris Hani Baragwanath and Steve Biko Hospitals in July 2017 - who then alerted the NICD.