Don't just dump it! Listeria makes polony a hazardous waste

Listeria makes polony a hazardous waste.
Listeria makes polony a hazardous waste.
Image: 123RF/ John Mcnamara

Disposal of any products potentially linked to listeria must be done very carefully‚ says Johan van den Berg‚ managing director of waste management company Averda South Africa. Here are his top tips for consumers:

- Don’t throw anything away

If contaminated meat get mixed with general refuse it puts the lives of waste pickers at risk. There are between 60‚000 and 90‚000 waste pickers in South Africa. These people provide a huge benefit to sustainability and the economy by diverting recyclable materials from disposal by landfill.

- Any products that might be contaminated must be returned to the store from which they were purchased.

Retailers must work in partnership with the Department of Health and waste management providers to ensure that these items are safely disposed of. Reputable waste management companies are well placed to provide guidance around the appropriate treatment and disposal requirements for such hazardous waste. - To ensure that the Listeriosis pathogen is destroyed‚ contaminated meat products will need to be incinerated and then disposed of at a hazardous waste facility.

The reason for this is that these facilities have a number of measures in place to protect people's health and the environment.

The source of the recent Listeriosis outbreak in the country has been found. Here is what we know so far.