Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa

This issue has been on the news for some time now and I thought this would be a great platform to bring awareness and understanding about this issue because believe it or not but this is real. Countries all over are returning products to their suppliers in South Africa and I never even knew that Enterprise was a South African brand.  This is surely causing massive loss of profit to factories that produce cold meats and as a consequence people might lose their jobs resulting in high unemployment rates which in turn increase social problems in our communities.

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection that can cause severe illness resulting in lifelong harm and even death. People who are mostly vulnerable are those who have a compromised immune system such as people living with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, new born babies and the elderly.

On 4 March 2018, after almost 1000 infections, and 180 deaths the source was traced to polony and other processed meat products produced at a Tiger Brands Enterprise plant in Polokwane, Limpopo.

A worker walks past cold meat products know as “polony” after it was removed from the shelves of Pick n Pay Store in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

As at 15 February 2018 – There have been 872 confirmed cases. The death toll rapidly rose from 107 to 164 deaths in just seven days. The KwaZulu-Natal figures are 62 confirmed cases, of which 6 have died.

However, this matter goes way back to early December 2017 where an outbreak of listeriosis was reported by the South African Department of Health. The outbreak, as at 8 January 2018, has killed 61 people and has been confirmed to have infected more than 748 people.


  • Fever
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • stiff neck
  • confusion
  • loss of balance
  • and convulsions.


It is contracted through the ingestion of contaminated food products, raw meat, dairy products, vegetables, fruit and seafood.


Return all Enterprise products that you have purchased to your local food markets or throw away any of those products that you have in your fridge. In our households we are advised to wash raw vegetables, to cook raw food thoroughly and at high heat, as well as reheating leftover or ready-to-eat foods. Lastly, the promotion of safe handling, cooking and consumption of food especially at food factories, food markets and restaurants is essential.

Listeriosis can be fatal without early detection and treatment.

Please comment with your views and opinions about Listeriosis. I know social media has lots of meme’s about this so please share those with me.



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