Polony and products from an Enterprise Foods factory in Polokwane‚ Limpopo‚ are the source of the world’s largest outbreak of listeria.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi made the announcement on Sunday afternoon.
More than 16 environmental samples from the Enterprise Polokwane factory tested positive for the listeriosis monocytogenes strain ST 6.
The results from the factory were confirmed at midnight on Saturday at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases as the strain to blame for the outbreak that killed 27% of patients in South Africa.
“Avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready to eat‚” said Motsoaledi. He told pregnant women to avoid any processed meat “like the plague”.
“The National Consumer Commission has issued the manufacturer involved [Enterprise] with food recall notices‚” Motsoaledi said.
This particular strain of listeria monocytogenes that infected so many people is sequence-type 6 and was particularly “virulent”. It was transmitted from food.