The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has intensified market Surveillance and monitoring following news of Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa.
The FDA in a statement warned the general public to be cautious of meat imported from that country.
A statement by the authority said, “Following news on the outbreak of Listeriosis in South Africa, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has intensified market surveillance and monitoring at the ports of entry for meat products from South Africa.
“The FDA has been in constant communication with the International Network of Food Safety Authorities (INFOSAN) which shares food safety alerts.
“Update from INFOSAN indicated that investigations conducted by the South African Authorities on the outbreak revealed that ready-to-eat (RTE) processed meat products produced by Enterprise Foods in Polokwane, South Africa (a subsidiary of the Tiger Brands Company) are responsible for the outbreak. The affected RTE products are now subject to recall.”
It added that as Ghana is a known export country for Enterprise Foods the INFOSAN has warned that there is a possibility of some of the recalled products having been exported to Ghana.
According to the FDA it has intensified its post market surveillance activities nationwide and any ready-to-eat (RTE) processed meat products produced by Enterprise Foods in Polokwane, South Africa found will be detained and destroyed.
The FDA stated that no imports should be made from this company.
“Any products from Enterprise Foods in Polokwane, South Africa (a subsidiary of the Tiger Brands Company) will be detained and the necessary regulatory actions taken.”
The death toll from an outbreak of the food-borne disease listeria in South Africa has more than doubled from previous numbers given in January to 172 deaths, the government said on Thursday.
The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said 915 cases of the disease have been confirmed since January last year, up from the previous figures given last month of 61 deaths and 720 confirmed outbreaks.
Listeria monocytogenes is typically a food-borne organism which causes the illness called listeriosis and can grow and reproduce inside the host cell.
Listeria is a bacterium that is naturally found in the environment and is capable of surviving with or without oxygen.
It therefore has the ability to survive and grow at temperatures as low as 0°C thereby allowing multiplication at refrigeration temperatures. It commonly occurs in soil, water, vegetation and in the faeces of some animals.
Listeria monocytogenes has been associated with foods such as raw milk, pasteurized fluid milk, cheeses (particularly soft-ripened varieties), ice cream, raw vegetables, fermented raw-meat sausages, raw and cooked poultry and raw meats (of all types).