Meat samples from Pretoria abattoir prove positive for listeria
A prohibition notice has been issued to an abattoir in the Tshwane area halting it from distributing meat after samples taken from it tested positive for listeria‚ the Gauteng health department confirmed on Saturday.
Investigators were led to the abattoir after a food sample from a patient who was confirmed to have listeriosis tested positive for the pathogen.
Gauteng MEC for Health Gwen Ramokgopa said the origin of the contaminated food sample was traced to a shop located in the Pretoria area.
“Further investigations led our investigators to the abattoir which supply this particular shop with meat. Food samples from the abattoir were tested by the National Health Laboratory Services and they came out positive for the listeria pathogens. “Based on the discovery‚ the prohibition notice has been issued to the abattoir in terms of Regulations 4 (3) of Regulations governing the General Hygiene for food premises and the transport of food for preparing food to the identified abattoir‚ “Ramokgopa said.
“Whilst the abattoir's legal rights are respected‚ they're obliged to comply until the following has been adhered to: identify the source of contamination‚ disinfection of the premises‚ take surface swabs and water samples before and after disinfection‚” she added.
Gauteng is the province most affected with listeriosis‚ with over 365 cases having been detected in the province‚ and 28 related deaths from the beginning of the year to date.
“In order to trace the origin and also to contain the outbreak‚ the MMC for health in the city of Tshwane‚ Mr Sakkie Du Plooy‚ assured that the city’s Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) are carrying out home visits to all clients who were confirmed to be listeriosis positive and collecting food samples from the affected clients. The samples have been submitted to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
“In the meantime the Gauteng Department of Health is calling upon people to practice basic hygiene‚ for example‚ by washing hands anytime they visited rest room and we also encourage them wash their vegetables and fruits before consuming them‚ boiling of water prior to use if you are not sure of its origin and avoid drinking unpasteurised milk as well cooking food at high temperature‚” the province’s health department said in a statement.