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EHPs track source of world’s biggest listeriosis outbreak

March 14, 2018
Food Safety


South African EHPs have traced the source of the world’s biggest listeriosis outbreak to a meat processing factory in the northern South African province of Limpopo.

The announcement on Sunday follows an ongoing investigation by the South African National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD)to find the source of an ST6 strain of listeria monocytogenes that has, to date, claimed 180 lives with 948 laboratory confirmed cases.

South African minister of health Aaron Motsoaledi announced: ‘Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from over 30 per cent of the environmental samples collected from the site which happens to be the Enterprise factory in Polokwane.’

The discovery followed an investigation by EHPs accompanied by technical advisors from the World Health Organization who visited the Enterprise Foods factory in Polokwane Limpopo where polony, a ready-to-eat sausage, is produced

The NICD confirmed to the health minister at midnight on Saturday that they had received positive confirmation that the outbreak strain had been found in environmental samples taken from the factory.

The factory is owned by Tiger Brands, one of South Africa’s biggest consumer food producers. Preliminary results also suggest that listeria may also be present in another Enterprise factory located in Germiston in the East Rand region of Gauteng.

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Published by: Environmental Health News 8/3/18