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Sol to embark on listeriosis campaign

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The municipality would be “intensifying its efforts in the fight against the further spread of listeriosis” especially among tuckshop owners in the city

Picture: Soraya Crowie

The Sol Plaatje Municipality will today embark on an “awareness campaign” among tuckshop owners in Kimberley, informing them about the current listeriosis outbreak in South Africa and subsequent recall of certain products by the Minister of Health.

On Sunday the Health Department announced that the source of the listeriosis outbreak had been traced to Enterprise Foods, a company owned by Tiger Brands. Another source of the outbreak has been traced to Rainbow Chicken food products.

Not only is the Sol Plaatje Municipality embarking on the awareness campaign, it also started supplying bins yesterday at a designated point (West End Club) for consumers and supermarkets to safely dispose of recalled products.

Spokesperson for the Sol Plaatje Municipality, Sello Matsie, said that the municipality would be “intensifying its efforts in the fight against the further spread of listeriosis” especially among tuckshop owners in the city.

“We will be going to various tuckshops today to inspect their premises and if needed provide notices and information about the outbreak and subsequent recall of affected products, as well as to request them to desist from purchasing or selling any of these products, that are a main source of nutrition for many,” Matsie, said yesterday.

He added that the listeriosis outbreak was “affecting every sector of society” and again reiterated his call for residents to make use of the designated bins provided at West End Club to dispose of recalled products and not throw it away with garbage.

He concluded by saying that the bins, that had by yesterday already contained hundreds of kilogrammes of products from local supermarkets, would still be available for disposal until at least Friday, after which the dumped products would be “destroyed safely” in an isolated area.

Meanwhile, it was yesterday reported that neighbouring countries had taken extreme measures to stop the import of processed cold meat products from South Africa.

Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique have announced that they would increase measures at their borders to halt the import of cold meat products from South Africa following the listeriosis outbreak that has killed 180 people.

It took the department and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) more than six months to trace the origins of the outbreak.

The strain has been linked specifically to polony but other cold meat products are at risk of cross contamination and all cold meat products have been recalled.

The department also said consumers should return their cold meat products to the stores where they were purchased or to burn them as a safety measure.

Retailers such as Woolworths, Checkers and Pick * ‘ Pay have asked customers to return their purchased products.

Although Tiger Brands has been named as source of the outbreak, the company has refused to take responsibility.

The CEO Lawrence MacDougall said he could not apologize for the death of 180 people because there is no proof that the strain of listeria is linked to Enterprise products.

This is despite the health department and NICD confirming that the particular strain was traced back to Enterprises’ Polokwane plant.

However, while processed meat products produced by Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken have been recalled, in Kimberley numerous tuckshops were still this week selling polony and the ever-popular “kota meal” consisting of a quarter white bread, chips, and polony or russians.