Today’s Listeriosis news wrap: Listeriosis deaths hit 189, class action launched, WHO weighs in
The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced on Thursday [29 March] that the death toll in the listeriosis outbreak has climbed to 189 – six more deaths from its last update.
It also announced that there were now 982 confirmed cases of the deadly disease‚ with outcomes known in 687 of these. The mortality rate is now 28%.
A nationwide recall of affected food products – which has been traced back to ready-to-eat processed meat products manufactured at Enterprise Foods’ Polokwane production facility – was announced on March 4.
However‚ as it had previously warned there would be‚ the NICD said more new cases of listeriosis had been confirmed since the recall. In total‚ there had been 23 laboratory-confirmed cases since March 4 – but all exposures occurred prior to the recall.
The institute said that the reasons for the post-recall new cases were that:
- the incubation period of listeriosis can be up to 70 days
- implicated food products have a long refrigeration shelf life‚ and it is possible that despite the recall some products were not removed from retail or home settings and consumption might occur; and
- the possibility of cross-contamination of other types of foods in the retail or home setting may result in additional cases.
“As of March 26‚ 2018‚ a total of 982 laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases have been reported to NICD since January 1‚ 2017. Most cases have been reported from Gauteng (576 cases) followed by Western Cape (121) and KwaZulu-Natal (71)‚” the NICD said in an update posted on its website.
Primary source of listeriosis remains unknown, say multiple govt departments
Polony and other ready-to-eat (RTE) processed meat manufacturers, who have been desperately attempting to distance themselves from the Enterprise and Rainbow products recalled due to listeria contamination, were left reeling on Wednesday by the news that the primary source of the listeriosis outbreak remains unknown.
The DA claimed that at a parliamentary briefing on Wednesday‚ the Departments of Health‚ Trade and Industry‚ and Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries admitted that although traces of listeria were found at both the Enterprise and RCL’s Rainbow chicken polony facilities‚ they were not the primary sources of the outbreak.
“It is now apparent that the government … has opted for prematurely scapegoating Enterprise and Rainbow because it does not have proper emergency plans in place to contain this outbreak‚” the DA said in a statement.
Asked to comment‚ food safety expert Dr Lucia Anelich said she was unsure what was meant by “primary source” of the outbreak. “We know that the outbreak strain of listeria‚ ST6‚ was found in the Enterprise plant‚ but it’s true that we don’t know its origin.”….
BusinessLive.co.za: Read the full article
The real tragedy is the lives that have been destroyed. As a farmer I’m conscious that food safety is essential to food security. We rely on processors & oversight by independent assessors to be vigilant. The pig industry in South Africa may well cease to exist if this persists— Guy Williams (@Piglet0080) March 29, 2018
Richard Spoor to file against Tiger Brands for first 10 applicants, and is seeking more https://t.co/99kntHlJtd— BusinessLIVE (@BusinessLiveSA) March 29, 2018
SA on back foot over listeriosis, Davies warns https://t.co/ucTWIvX1vw— BusinessLIVE (@BusinessLiveSA) March 29, 2018
Tiger Brands has a long heritage in South Africa. We are working hard to ensure that we restore trust through our actions and promise to deal with this honestly and with integrity, and we will continue to assume a leading role in resolving it. – CEO Tiger Brands— Tiger Brands (@TigerBrands) March 29, 2018
Note the dramatic drop-off in #listeriosis cases since the March 4 recall & mass shunning of ready-to-eat processed meats. Only 4 new confirmed cases in the 2 wks from Mar 12 – 26 pic.twitter.com/1TaQbDV06B— Wendy Knowler (@wendyknowler) March 29, 2018
Trading partners dubious about safety of SA’s food exports after listeriosis outbreak, Rob Davies sayshttps://t.co/RLgyzfhwiy— BusinessLIVE (@BusinessLiveSA) March 28, 2018