Listeriosis has killed some 170 people in South Africa. Following the sourcing of the listeria strain linked to the outbreak to an Enterprise factory in Polokwane, waste expert and group tactical specialist at EnviroServ Waste Management, Dr Johan Schoonraad outlines the disposal plans.
The waste industry only received the green light to go ahead with disposal of potentially contaminated meat products on Wednesday, explains Schoonraad.
Firstly, the intention is to get it out of circulation as rapidly as possible.— Dr Johan Schoonraad, Group tactical specialist at EnviroServ Waste Management,
The meat processing industry has now put together a plan to destroy the products as effectively as possible, he says.
He says incinerating the products is not viable. South Africa only has incineration capacity for certain medical waste.
The plan is to bury the meat products in landfills. But he says it is essential to treat the meat first so as to kill off the listeria bacteria.
After treatment, it needs to be disposed in an environment where it cannot be scavenged by the informal sector.
Throwing away unwanted potentially contaminated processed meat products into your domestic waste disposal for municipal collection is strongly discouraged. It would find its way into the normal waste disposal areas and, if contaminated, could infect the entire dump site.
People should rather pack up the products in a plastic bag wearing gloves as a precaution and return to the store where it will be isolated and disposed of correctly.
Listen to the plan for destroying the meat products below: