A recall has been ordered by the South African Health Department – see our article on the Listeriosis recall
As of 20 February 2018 (previous update 25 January 2018) the source of the contamination is still not known. This very likely due to the variability in the incubation time of the infection which can occur between 3 – 70 days. Several large national manufacturers are currently undergoing investigation. Inspectors believe they are close to finding the source.
After more than two month of investigation, 872 (820) infections, 164 (82) Deaths (mostly new born babies)have been recorded, and continues to grow.
The Health Department concluded that the previously named abattoir in Gauteng was not the cause of the outbreak, despite having the common occurring presence of Listeria monocytogenes in their raw chicken. Investigators have indicated that the serotype ST6 is the most common serotype in this outbreak and further investigations are ongoing.
The problem is, that Listeria monocytogenes in raw chicken is a very common occurrence, which again further leads to the suggestion that; should this be the source, cross-contamination is the major culprit.
Reported cases have occurred in both Government and Private hospitals, suggesting that the contaminated foods are not exclusive to low income households and because cases have been reported country wide, if there is a single source, a large manufacturer with a wide distribution network may be to blame.
Unfortunately, because of the potential from cross-contamination, a single source may well have transferred to the other known sources of food, such as processed meats, and dairy. A lesser known source, considering the warm summer months may well be ice-cream.
Rumours & Fake News
Please be careful what you hear and read on the news and on social media. Most especially regarding soil and water sources. Listeria does occur in soil and water, however this is only important in farming and not at home or in the natural environment. L.monocytogenes Is only a problem when it gets into foods, and is likely to contaminate fruits & vegetables.
Always wash your fruits and vegetables before eating. If you are pregnant , have a pregnant wife, small children, elderly or individuals that are ill and immune-compromised, seriously consider finding products such as vegetable sanitisers such as the below from Amazon.com or contact a local chemical supplier for a vegetable and fruit chemical sanitiser .
Reminder: How to protect yourself and your family from Listeriosis.
Cook chicken and raw meats fully
Heat up deli meats and sausages
Monitor your food storage in your fridge
Always wash your hands when preparing and cooking foods
Checkout our original article on the Listeriosis outbreak for details on prevention of infection.
For full details on the outbreak checkout the following link Anelich consulting
Follow the Listeriosis timeline below:
- Listeriosis OUTBREAK in South Africa
- Listeriosis Recall South Africa
- Science Behind the Listeriosis Outbreak South Africa