THE Consumer Goods Council of South Africa has assured South Africans that nearly all food consumed was safe, despite a listeriosis outbreak that has killed 61 people since last year.
The food safety executive at the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa, Setati Matlou, said finding the source of listeriosis kept them awake at night because they wanted answers that would put South Africans at peace.
Matlou was speaking at a press briefing organised by the National Press Club, during which several food industry role-players had an opportunity to highlight the role of the private sector and local government in combating the disease.
Matlou said environmental health practitioners played a huge role in the battle to eradicate the disease. She said she was happy that most municipalities were hiring more environmental health practitioners in general.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult to explain microbiological organisms and not make them all seem bad. Not all food contains biological organisms that could cause diseases. Yoghurt is a good example of a food that has micro-organisms but we can eat them.
AgriSA says it’s experiencing a challenge in determining how big a problem Listeria is on farms as the source of the bacteria is unknown.
Consumers have been advised to thoroughly cook vegetables.
Listeriosis is described as a serious, but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes, and is widely distributed in nature. It can be found in soil, water and vegetation.
Animal products and fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, can also be contaminated from these sources.
AgriSA’s Requier Wait says they’re not sure how much damage Listeria has done on farms because it’s been found in other places outside of farms.
Die minister van Gesondheid, dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, het op 5 Desember 2017 aangekondig dat meer as 30 mense reeds gesterf het as gevolg van die onlangse uitbreking van die siekte listerellose, wat deur besmette kos oorgedra word.
Volgens die Nasionale Instituut vir Aanmeldbare Siektes (NICD) is ongeveer 557 gevalle aangemeld en die meeste daarvan is in Gauteng.
Listeria is ‘n bakterie (Listeria monocytogenes) wat in grond, water en plante voorkom. Dit kan ook in sommige diere voorkom, byvoorbeeld pluimvee en beeste. Ongepasteuriseerde melk en ander voedsel wat daarmee vervaardig word, kan ook die bakterieë bevat. Die siekte kan nie versprei word deur kontak met besmette persone nie.
Volgens Janse Rabie, hoof van Natuurlike Hulpbronne by Agri SA, wys die onlangse uitbreking van listerellose hoe uiters kwesbaar alle mense is waar dit besmetting van ons natuurlike hulpbronne, veral grond en water, betref.