Despite listeriosis outbreak, our food is safe IOL - James Mahokwae

Despite listeriosis outbreak, our food is safe IOL - James Mahokwae

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.

 Agri Northern Cape

Effects of Listeria outbreak on farming not known – AGRISA EWN - Kgomotso Modise

Effects of Listeria outbreak on farming not known – AGRISA EWN - Kgomotso Modise

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.

 Agri Northern Cape