Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Listeriosis outbreak officially over - Aaaron Motsoaledi

Listeriosis outbreak officially over - Aaaron Motsoaledi

Listeriosis, a serious, but treatable and preventable disease is caused by the bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes.

On 5 December, 30 people had already died and Motsoaledi announced a listeriosis outbreak.

The NCID's team tasked with finding the source of the outbreak worked relentlessly for months, taking no time off, starting workdays at 05:30 and facing "hectic exhaustion".

WHO, along with worldwide and local food safety experts agree that no new listeriosis cases have been identified since the first week of June 2018.

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This does not mean that people will no longer suffer from listeriosis - remember, listeriosis has occurred in South Africa for the past 40 years.

The government investigation traced the outbreak to two food-processing factories in the country, prompting a recall of 5,812 tonnes of affected food stuffs since March.

"The operation revealed that 281 premises were operating without valid health certificates", Motsoaledi said.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases also identified listeria at RCL's Rainbow Foods, resulting in a recall of all ready-to-eat processed meat products from the facility.

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Listeriosis killed at least 203 people in South Africa.

Minister Motsoaledi says that efforts to find the cause of the listeriosis outbreak at an Enterprise Foods facility and to stop the outbreak of any other diseases will continue even after Monday's announcements.

"No cases of listeria, due to the outbreak strain, have been identified since the first week of June 2018", the minister said. This is why health officials have declared the outbreak officially over.

With these words, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi finally declared kota safe to eat again after many South Africans stayed away from it following the listeriosis outbreak a few months ago.

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