NICD: Enterprise factory without doubt the origin of listeriosis outbreak strain

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi confirmed on Sunday the source of an outbreak of Listeriosis disease as an Enterprise factory in Limpopo and a Rainbow Chicken facility in the Free State.

The public has been advised to get rid of all cold meat products in fridges and freezers that may be linked to these factory sources..

Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseasesat NICD, Dr Juno Thomas says the process of tracking the disease is a very complex one because the listeriosis can contaminate a large variety of food.

Juno says they have been interviewing people diagnosed with listeriosis in order to find out what they've been eating. They interviewed 108 people and 86 % confirmed eating polony in the month before getting sick.

Read: Pick n Pay house brand affected by Enterprise-linked listeriosis

The lead to the investigation which led us to Enterprise came from a small creche in Soweto where 9 children fell ill after having eaten at the creche.

Dr Juno Thomas, Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at NICD

Appropriate tests were done on the children and the Department of Health was notified. An environmental health practitioner was sent to the premises to sample the food.

Dr Juno Thomas, Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at NICD

We found Listeria in two unrelated polony brands that were in the fridge as well as in some of the sick children.

Dr Juno Thomas, Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at NICD

We are confident that the bacteria that was subsequently found in the Enterprise factory itself in Polokwane, that is the source of the outbreak.

Dr Juno Thomas, Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at NICD

About 30% of the samples they took from the factory contained Listeria, says Thomas.

She says there are multiple strains of Listeria in the facility though only one is linked to the outbreak strain.

The slightest breach of food safety regulations can cause a breach into food production, she explains.

To hear more on the outbreak of Listeriosis, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : NICD: Enterprise factory without doubt the origin of listeriosis outbreak strain


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