Listeriosis saga unfolds locally
COLD meat products are piling up in supermarket storerooms as shelves have been emptied of all Enterprise and Rainbow ranges.
Throughout the week consumers, after having emptied their fridges and deep freezers of Enterprise and Rainbow cold meat products, were seen lining up at their local supermarkets for a refund of their purchases.
Despite Tiger Brands issuing a nationwide recall on their Enterprise range after its Polokwane facility was confirmed as the source of the listeriosis outbreak, CEO Lawrence MacDougall denied a link between their products and the 180 listeriosis deaths.
‘There has been no direct correlation between our products and the deaths, so we are unaware of any direct link.’
RCL Foods (Rainbow Chicken Ltd) is awaiting confirmation from the Department of Health of the listeriosis strain found at the Wolwehoek facility, but all polony products have been recalled.
The Shoprite Group said its Housebrand, Rite Brand and Farmers Deli are not affected.
Bluff Meat Supply said their processing facilities undergo rigorous microbiological testing but their facilities have never tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
To provide answers to concerned members of the public, leading food microbiologist and food safety specialist, Professor Lucia Anelich has set up a website dedicated to answering listeriosis-related questions.
Relieved that the source of the outbreak had been identified, Anelich said, ‘Together with recalls of polony and other processed meat, this will hopefully bring an end to what I stated in early January is the largest documented listeriosis outbreak anywhere in the world.’
The website, www.listeriosisfacts. co.za, answers questions such as what is listeriosis, who is at risk, what products are affected and what should consumers do.
This is the largest documented listeriosis outbreak anywhere in the world