22 Cases of listeriosis confirmed in Ekurhuleni

Ekurhuleni residents are urged to avoid all ready-to-eat food products such as viennas, russians, frankfurters, sausages and cold meats that are not typically cooked.

This follows an announcement by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Sunday that the listeriosis outbreak, which has to date claimed over 100 lives nationwide, has been traced to originate from these food products from an Enterprise facility in Germiston.

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“The City of Ekurhuleni’s environmental health practitioners also conducted tests which confirmed this finding,” said Themba Gadebe, spokesperson for the metro.

Kempton Express’ sister newspaper, Germiston City News, visited the Enterprise Factory Shop, a division of Tiger Brands, in Linton Jones Street in Germiston on Monday.

Workers could be seen sitting under trees while gates were locked and doors shut. They spoke to angry and concerned community members who were desperately attempting to get a refund for their Enterprise goods.

Thusang Moloi said, “We are not getting any details from the cashiers. You only get a refund on the items you have with you. They refuse to refund items that we may have already consumed even if we can prove it comes from the store. We are also getting no real answers from management or a company representative.”

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Since November last year, laboratory tests confirmed 22 cases of listeriosis in Ekurhuleni, comprising 10 adults and 12 four-week-old and younger infants, Gadebe added.

“While Enterprise has committed to recalling all affected products, pregnant women, newborn babies, elderly people and anyone with a weakened immune system are strongly advised to stay clear of all processed food products.”

To prevent the spread of Listeria, basic hygiene should be followed along with the following measures:

• Thoroughly cook raw foods from animal sources such as beef, pork or poultry.

• Wash hands before preparing food, before eating and after going to the toilet.

• Wash and sanitise kitchen surfaces and utensils regularly, particularly after preparing raw meat, poultry and eggs. This should be done in industrial kitchens as well.

• Wash raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly before eating.

  AUTHOR
Kempton Express

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