Listeriosis: Tiger Brands To Recall All Implicated Enterprise Products

Faith Castro
March 5, 2018

The public is cautioned to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat.

In January Motsoaledi acknowledged that the disease was first discovered by doctors from neonatal units in the Chris Hani Baragwanath and Steve Biko Hospitals in July 2017 - who then alerted the NICD.

"While we know that polony is definitely implicated, there is a risk of cross-contamination of other ready-to-eat processed meat products, either at production, distribution or retail".

Retailers are disposing of all Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken products after the announcement today that they had traced the source of the Listeriosis outbreak to an Enterprise facility in Polokwane.

The company proactively amplified its testing for Listeria and can confirm that we had found a low detection of a strain of listeria in some products on 14 February but the presence of the ST6 strain has not been confirmed by our tests.

The Shoprite Group confirmed on Sunday that it has started to remove the products of Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken from its shelves. It can contaminate a wide variety of food types, including meat and meat products, dairy products (unpasteurised and pasteurised), fresh and frozen produce (fruits, vegetables and sprouts) and ready-to-eat products.

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"This is on the grounds that Listeria on the outside packaging (bundling) of polony can be exchanged to different products it comes into contact with, including viennas, russians, hotdogs, different wieners, and other "cool meat" products that are ordinarily not cooked before eating". An aggregate of 659 patients include the outbreak strain, and 180 of those kicked the bucket, constituting a 27 percent casualty rate. The environmental health practitioners (EHPs) were informed and on the same day visited the crèche, and obtained samples from two unrelated polony brands (manufactured by Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken Limited (RCL) respectively) and submitted these to the laboratory for testing.

This followed a safety recall by the National Consumer Commission after an Enterprise Foods factory in Polokwane was identified as a source of the disease. Also, over 10% of environmental samples collected by EHPs at this facility have tested positive for L. monocytogenes.

Together with the Public Service Accountability Monitoring (PSAM) Grocott's Mail has attempted to get clarity from the Makana Sub-District of the Eastern Cape Department of Health on monitoring and containment of listeriosis in Makana, as well as further confirmation of cases.

Compliance notices will be issued to facilities in terms of the National Health Act.

Though the Clinical Guidelines state that two linked patients must have consumed the contaminated source within 72 hours of expressing symptoms, infections like listeriosis are exceptions. The minister reiterated his call for high risk people such as pregnant women, very young infants, elderly persons and anyone with a weakened immune system due to HIV and cancer to completely avoid all processed meat.

Educational awareness campaigns are well under way and any suspected products are being recalled. The problem was a design flaw that inhibited thorough cleaning.

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