S. Africa recalls meat products after listeria outbreak

Posted March 06, 2018

- Checkers called on consumers who bought any Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken processed meat products to return the products.

However, he warned that products such as Viennas, Russians, Frankfurters, other sausages and cold meats not typically cooked could also be affected due to the risk of cross contamination.

It is reported that so far 180 people country-wide have died from listeriosis, which has sparked panic across the country.

Keeping them among other products could cause cross contamination.

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RCL Foods, formerly known as Rainbow Chickens, saw its share price see-saw following the announcement. "I don't know, maybe I can get some disease", said Bongani Mavuso, a taxi driver, as he stood in line outside Enterprise's factory shop in Germiston, Johannesburg.

On Sunday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the outbreak was traced to Enterprise's Polokwane facility, after several children presented with gastroenteritis in Soweto earlier in the week. The products are also sold overseas - Zambia has demanded they be recalled there, too. As a company that prioritizes 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. The fact that the source could not be found hurt all food suppliers in South Africa and they were all advised to test their products.

MacDougall did confirm that a low level detection of the virus was found in Tiger Brands' products in February, which then prompted the decision to take "immediate precautionary measures" to reduce spreading of the virus.

Motsoaledi said a team from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), in Johannesburg, interviewed 109 ill people to obtain details about the foods they had eaten before getting sick.

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The company increased testing for Listeria and confirmed the presence of a strain of Listeria in some products on February 14.

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria included a variety of stems.

"In a statement, RCL Foods said the company's board and management "...remain deeply concerned about this tragic outbreak, and its effect on many South Africans". "Our products have always been grown, handled and packed under strict internationally-acknowledged food safety protocols and conditions".

South Africa is Zambia's second largest trading partner following a number of South African business entities operating in Zambia.

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