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Thursday, 8 March 2018

LISTERIA OUTBREAK: SOUTH AFRICAN NEIGHBOURS BAN MEAT EXPORTS

All types of processed meat have been removed from some supermarkets
Several southern African states have banned processed meat from South Africa after it said it had identified the source of a food poisoning outbreak.

The government blamed the sausage known as polony for the listeria poisoning that has killed 180 people. It advised people not to eat any processed meat.

It ordered a recall of the product, prompting shops to clear their shelves.

Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana and Zambia followed suit, all ordering a recall or suspending imports.

The Mozambican ministry of agriculture and food security "asks that all owners of establishments that commercialise these products start to withdraw from the shelves due to the danger that this constitutes to health", it said in a statement.

'No direct link'

It took South Africa more than a year to trace the outbreak.

There have been 948 cases of listeria poisoning in South Africa reported since January 2017, according to Reuters - which the UN calls the largest outbreak ever.

It is believed to have originated in a factory in the northern city of Polokwane, which makes Enterprise Food products. The chief executive of Tiger Brands, which owns the Enterprise label, insisted on Monday that "no direct link" had been proved between its products and any of the 180 deaths.

Even so, Lawrence McDougall said his firm was "being extra cautious and vigilant" and abiding by the government's recall order.

A plant owned by a second company, RCL Foods, is also under suspicion. It has suspended meat production too.

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