The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has issued a recall of all products from the Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken Limited companies, which have been found to have traces of Listeria.
“Given the findings of Listeria, it is clear that there has been a drop in the quality controls at these facilities. They have, as of this morning, been issued with safety recall notices according to Section 60(2) of the Consumer Protection Act,” said dti Director General Lionel October.
Results which came in at midnight confirmed that polony from the Enterprise facility was the cause of the current Listeriosis outbreak, prompting Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi to call an urgent press briefing.
While RCL Foods tested positive for Listeria, its samples did not test positive for the strain ST6, which is the cause of the outbreak. Nonetheless, it will also be pulled from the shelves as it poses a health risk.
“Such contamination of ready-to-eat processed meat products constitutes a health risk. Also, over 10% of environmental samples collected by the EHPs at this facility have tested positive for L. monocytogenes,” said Minister Motsoaledi.
The safety recall notices require that an investigation be conducted and a recall programme be carried out on any terms required by the National Consumer Commission (NCC).
“The safety recall will affect the manufacturers’ entire distribution networks, both domestic and international,” said the Health Minister.
In addition to the recall, RCL Foods, which exports some of its products, has been slapped with a suspension of its export registration number until further notice.
While the Minister confirmed that polony was the definite culprit, he called on the public to avoid all processed meat products.
“While we know that polony is definitely implicated, there is a risk of cross-contamination of other ready-to-eat processed meat products, either at production, distribution or retail. We advise members of the public to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat,” said Minister Motsoaledi.
NCC Deputy Commissioner Thezi Mabuza said the Commission will prepare a recall strategy in conjunction with the manufacturers and make further announcements to the public in due course. – SAnews.gov.za
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