South Africa's Tiger Brands recalls products after listeria confirmed

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This is why Rainbow Chicken polony was being recalled.

Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa's Minister of Health, on Sunday announced the source of the outbreak was two unrelated brands of "polony" manufactured by the Tiger Brands unit of Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken Limited (RCL).

Tiger Brands said it had suspended operations at both Enterprise manufacturing facilities in Polokwane and Germiston.

Unexpectedly, Polokwane signifies "Place of Safety". The city is the capital of South Africa's Limpopo province.

Pick n Pay is the latest retailer to take all listeriosis-linked foods from its shelves, eNCA reported.

Consumers who have Rainbow Chicken polony‚ Enterprise ready-to-eat meat products such as polony and Russians should decontaminate their fridge with diluted bleach. Enterprise says it is cooperating fully.

RCL Foods chief legal officer Stephen Heath said the company was recalling its polony products even though test results were still pending.

After the health minister's declaration, numerous South African markets moved promptly to expel any speculate prepared to-eat meats from their coolers.

The source was confirmed at midnight by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

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The Health Department issued a recall of these cold meat products for Enterprise and RCL.

"Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from over 30% of the environmental samples collected from this site", said Motsoaledi.

But it was the hospitalisation of a group of children in Soweto that provided the crucial breakthrough that led to the government identifying the Tiger Brands owned Enterprise as the source of the biggest outbreak the world has ever seen.

One of the reasons the department could not respond fast enough is that Listeriosis was not considered a "notifiable" disease, meaning that as its picked up during tests on patients doctors were not required to notify the department of its presence.

"We advise members of the public to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat", Motsoaledi said, adding that, due to the risk of cross-contamination, all such foods were a potential health hazard.

Lucia Anelich, a microbiologist and conspicuous South African sustenance security master, said it is the most exceedingly terrible foodborne outbreak "in worldwide history".

Providing an update on the impact of the disease at a media briefing on Sunday, he said that as of 2 March 2018, the number of laboratory-confirmed cases had risen to 948 since January 2017.

Listeria is a bacterium that is naturally found in the environment - it commonly occurs in soil, water, vegetation and in the faeces of some animals. This constitutes a 27% fatality rate.

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