Over 200 die from Listeria outbreak in South Africa
More than 200 people have been confirmed to have died in South Africa from Listeria which is a food-borne disease.
South African officials on Thursday said that the death toll has risen to 204 although there are indications the number of new cases has declined.
Health officials in the country recalled processed meat products following a major outbreak of the disease with the source traced to a factory owned by Tiger Brands unit Enterprise Foods in March.
Other Southern African countries were put on alert over the disease with some banning the import of processed meat from South Africa.
The Departments of Health and Agriculture of South Africa have said in a joint statement that “Since identification of the source of the outbreak and recall of implicated products, the number of cases of listeria has declined drastically”.
1,033 cases have been recorded so far by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) but the decline in new cases is as a result of the recalling of products.
The joint statement from the Health and Agriculture departments also said in the statement that “Risk profiling of food processing premises is under way and preparations have been made for a programme of inspections and laboratory testing of high risk processing facilities of food that may be at risk for Listeria contamination”.
The Listeria bacterium is found in soil, water and vegetation and infects through animal products and fresh fruit and vegetables.