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Kenya bans all ready-to-eat meat imports from South Africa

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s health ministry on Tuesday banned import and sale of ready-to-eat meat products from South Africa after a listeriosis outbreak was linked to factories in the country.

Kepha Ombacho, Director of Public Health, announced the ban on Tuesday, following similar bans imposed by other African nations such as Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

Ombacho also directed all retail outlets in the country to remove such products from their shelves.

“In order to ensure that the health of the public is protected and as a precautionary measure, you are required to stop the importation and sale of these products in market while at the same time recall those that are already on the market,” he said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the outbreak in South Africa was the largest ever recorded globally, after some 900 cases since January 2017.

According to WHO, listeria is a food-borne infection that occurs through the consumption of contaminated foods. It causes flu-like symptoms, nausea, diarrhoea and infection of the bloodstream and brain.



Zambia asks South African chain stores to recall
ready-to-eat meat products after disease outbreak

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Zambia have asked South African retail chain stores operating in the country to recall ready-to-eat meat products imported from South Africa following confirmation that the products were a source of listeria bacteria.

South African authorities confirmed over the weekend that the source of the listeriosis outbreak in that country has been linked to consumption of polony manufactured by a food processing company from Polokwane.

Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, said recall of all ready-to-eat meat products from retail stores would help contain the spread of the disease which has infected over 900 people resulting in about 180 deaths in that country, according to a statement released by the Zambia embassy in that country.

The chain stores, he said, should emulate measures put in place by the South African government to recall cold and meat products supplied by the firm.

Recently, the Zambian government requested the South African government to put precautionary health measures in place to ensure that all the country’s food exports to Zambia were free of food borne disease.

South Africa is Zambia’s second largest trading partner with a number of South African business entities operating in Zambia.


Zambia bans South Africa processed meat products after disease outbreak

LUSAKA  Zambia (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Zambia have imposed an immediate ban on the importation of risky food products like processed meat from South Africa following an outbreak of listeriosis in that country, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

South African authorities confirmed over the weekend that the source of the listeriosis outbreak has been linked to consumption of polony manufactured by a food processing company from Polokwane.

Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya has since directed all South African chain stores in Zambia to remove such risky foods from their shelves.

The ministry has strengthened port health systems to monitor food imports into the country, he added.

According to him, a Disease Surveillance and Intelligence team as well as health inspectors have been directed to diligently investigate all suspicious food products and take appropriate action including destruction of contaminated or suspicious products.

Listeria bacteria may cause fever and diarrhea, with pregnant women being more likely to become infected.


Botswana recalls imported meat products from
South Africa associated with listeriosis outbreak

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- Botswana on Monday issued a nationwide recall on ready-to-eat meat products associated with an outbreak of listeriosis in neighboring South Africa.

The recall follows an announcement by South African health officials on Sunday that they have discovered the source of the disease that has killed 180 people since January 2017.

According to South African health authorities, the outbreak of the disease was traced to a raw meat processing factory in one of the country’s big meat and meat products suppliers.

According to a press release from the Botswana’s Ministry of Health and Wellness, a mandatory recall was issued to all supermarkets, shops, distributors, transporters and importers of the identified meat products.

The release advised members of the public who bought any of the affected products to return them to the respective shops for a full refund.

By Monday afternoon, some retailers that sell the affected products have already cleared them off their shelves.

Botswana has not registered any listeriosis cases or deaths, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Richard Matlhare told Xinhua.

The country’s health officials have been on high alert since the announcement of the disease outbreak in South Africa, as Botswana imports a lot of food stuff from their neighbours, he said.

Botswana issued an advisory late last year warning citizens to exercise caution with regards to the outbreak of listeriosis.


Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa affects retailers in Botswana

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- Supermarkets in Botswana have embarked on a massive recall of products, especially ready-to-eat meat products from South Africa, as fear for listeriosis continues to hit Botswana.

The development went full scale on Tuesday following the government’s notice that the main source of listeriosis outbreak in South Africa has been identified and traced to Enterprise Food Production Factory and Rainbow Chicken Limited.

Most retail outlets in Botswana are South Africa’s chain-stores.

“The affected products include products from Enterprise and Rainbow products. These also include any other products manufactured or packaged for other retailers by Enterprise and Rainbow,” said the government.

Shops on Tuesday were busy pulling out of shelves products from the South African companies - Enterprise and Rainbow.

“We are following a mandatory order from the ministry of health that has instructed all supermarkets, shops, distributors, transporters and importers, to recall all processed ready-to-eat meat products that have been implicated,” said Thabang Nketsang, floor manager at Shoprite in Gaborone.

Botswana says will continue to collaborate with South African authorities to monitor the situation and give regular updates.


Namibia suspends processed meat imports from South Africa

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibia announced Monday that it has suspended imports of processed meat from South Africa, where a listeria outbreak has killed 180 people.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry said in a statement that it has suspended the import or in-transit movement of processed meats produced by two South African firms, Rainbow Chickens and Enterprise Foods Ltd.

Listeriosis is serious, but preventable and treatable disease caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, which is widely distributed in nature and can be found in soil, water, vegetation and the feces of some animals, the World Health Organization said.

Animal products, including meat, meat products, dairy products, seafood and fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables can be contaminated from these sources.

The bacterium can survive and multiply at low temperatures usually found in refrigerators.


Namibia retail chain stores pull SA products off shelves amid listeria outbreak

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibian retail chain Pick n Pay has instructed its stores countrywide to immediately remove all Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken Limited (RCL) products from its shelves following the confirmation of the source of a listeria outbreak in South Africa.

Pick n Pay Namibia, which is a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group in a statement on Tuesday said the move is a precautionary measure for the customers’ safety despite no confirmed reports of Listeria in the country.

“The health and safety of our customers is our first priority. We believe that the impact of the recall on the Namibian market is not as severe since Pick n Pay Namibia has a diversity of suppliers, many of whom are local,” said

O &L Communications Manager Roux-che Locke said any customer who is concerned that they may have bought any affected meat products linked to the outbreak can return them for a full refund.

The Minister of Health of South Africa announced over the weekend that the Department had identified the source of the national listeria outbreak to processed meat products manufactured at factories operated by Enterprise and RCL in South Africa.


Malawi bans South African meat products

LILONGWE Malawi (Xinhua) -- Malawi has banned South African meat products following the outbreak of the listeria disease that has since been linked to meet products from a South African company.

Malawi Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has called all retailers, wholesalers and distributors to get rid of all meat products from the South African company, Tiger Brands Unit of Enterprise Food and RCL Foods.

The statement further adds that the CFTC will inspect all business places to ensure that the banned meat products have totally been removed from the shelves of all shops.

Since the government of South Africa linked the outbreak to one of its own meat production companies and instituted a recall of all the meat products involved, many southern Africa countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi have banned such meat products in their shops.


Zimbabwe government bans importation of cold
meats following Listeria outbreak in South Africa

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The government has banned the importation of cold meats - mainly from South Africa - following an outbreak of listeria in that country.

Listeriosis is poisoning caused by eating foods contaminated with the listeria monocytogenes bacterium. In pregnant women, the infection can result in miscarriage, premature delivery, serious infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

Listeriosis affects mainly pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and adults with impaired immune systems. Babies can be born with listeriosis if their mothers eat contaminated food during pregnancy.

High risk foods include ready to eat products such as polonies, ham, sausages, dairy products made from unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses and cold smoked fishery products.

A statement issued to The Herald Monday evening by the Secretary for Health and Child Care Gerald Gwinji said Zimbabwe had not yet recorded cases of listeria.

“What makes this outbreak significant for us is that we do import quite significant food items, particularly cold processed foods into Zimbabwe from South Africa,” he said.

Gwinji added that authorities had tightened food surveillance at border posts where the banned products would be seized, quarantined and destroyed.

Zimbabwe joins other regional countries - Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, and Malawi - in banning cold meat products from South Africa.


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