Enterprise polony identified as source of listeria outbreak

More than 16 environmental samples from the Enterprise Polokwane factory tested positive for the listeriosis monocytogenes strain ST 6.
Image: ALON SKUY

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.

It led to at least 180 deaths and infected almost 1‚000 people.

“It is the worst outbreak in global history‚” Professor Lucia Anelich from Anelich Consulting Food Safety Solutions said earlier.

Listeriosis affects the elderly‚ those with compromised immune systems such as people with Aids and diabetics, and newborn babies.

The disease is particularly scary for pregnant woman who may have no symptoms when being infected with the bacteria but can pass it on to their babies.

It is believed the number of stillbirths may have increased as a result of pregnant women infected with it‚ said Juno Thomas‚ head of enteric diseases at the NICD.

One of the reasons it is so hard to find is because, even in solid food‚ a scientist may sample the infected food and not find it. For example‚ a slice of polony could be tested and have none of the micro-organism, but a different slice could have it.

Anelich said: “A micro-organism in a solid food is not homogenously distributed throughout food. A statistical sampling technique has to be used to ensure it is detected.”

It is also difficult to find in factories. Anelich said it could hide away in niches in the factory environment in cracks or bad joints and pipes.

Even if you sanitised a factory‚ you could miss the bugs hiding in cracks‚ she said.

Listeria bacteria can sense when it is near other bacteria and secrete a sugary goo. This substance is called a biofilm and can allow the bacteria to live on inanimate surfaces.

The biofilm protects the bacteria from cleaning agents. “A detergent could get superficial cells but leave behind some bacteria.”

Motsoaledi said that people at risk such as pregnant women‚ those with HIV and weakened immune system had to avoid all ready-to-eat products such as viennas‚ polony and frankfurters. These could be cross-contaminated in shops as they are often stored next to polony.

A Rainbow Chicken factory in Wolwerhoek in Sasolburg also tested positive for listeria monocytogenes – but it was not the strain causing this current outbreak.

Polony made by Rainbow Chicken has also been recalled.

Listeriosis – what to do with your Enterprise or Rainbow polony?

Source

City closes JHB roads for New Years celebrations

JOHANNESBURG – Several roads will be blocked off in central Johannesburg for various New Year’s celebrations, metro police said on Tuesday.

“Traffic will be diverted from 4pm around Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown for a concert,” spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

Jeppe, Bree, Henry Nxumalo, and Miriam Makeba are among the roads to be closed off.

Commissioner and Miriam Makeba streets would be blocked off for a fireworks display. Wolmarans and Claim streets would be cordoned off for a church service.

The Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) will be closing off all roads leading to the M1 North & South on the Double Decker section for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

JRA spokesperson Nonhlanhla Nxumalo says the closures are part of safety measures ahead of the celebrations.

The closures will start from 8pm and will only fully re-open after 1am the next day.

The following sections will be completely closed:-

1.         M1 South Smit Street on-ramp, motorists are advised to use Smit St. off-ramp.

2.         M1 South Carr Street on-ramp

3.         M1 North: Crown interchange to DD – motorists are advised to use M2 East

4.         M2 West: Crown interchange to DD

5.         M1 North onramp from Booysens Road: Selby to M1 North DD

M2 East: Eloff Street. On-ramp will not be closed but motorist should be made aware that access to M1 North is closed

Source :
https://www.jacarandafm.com/news/news/city-closes-jhb-roads-nye-celebrations/
https://www.enca.com/south-africa/joburg-road-closures-ahead-nye-celebrations

ER24 Medic Appreciation Day 2017

ER24’s CEO, Ben Johnson, delivers a special message on Medic Appreciation Day (MAD).

MAD is celebrated on the 24th of August. This day coincides with ER24’s birthday. This year ER24 turned 17.

Since 2000 when ER24 was launched they have developed into the premier emergency medical assistance company on the continent. Today we celebrate 17 years of operation by giving recognition to each of our ER24 colleagues for your dedication and hard work.

It is only by delivering the best quality care to our patients, that the company has been able to build our reputation and expand our care to wider regions of the country. Ben Johnson, ER24 Chief Executive Officer pays tribute, “I truly believe our success is as a result of our great team and the fact that we’re all working towards a common goal. It is our staff who set us above any other emergency medical services in the country. So once again, thank you!”

Berea Fire

On Saturday 17th June 2017 at 4am a house in Berea on the c/o Tudhope & Primrose Terrace, was engulfed in flames. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

The house was occupied by 32 people including women & children, some as young as a few months old. The ward councilor and local City of Joburg EMS Disaster Management representatives arrived at the scene some time after & found that the victims had lost everything including clothing, money & identification.

At 1:30pm, via social media, a call was made to Yusuf Abramjee & Yaseen Theba from #OperationSA to assist with the victims immediate needs. Theba arrived to meet with victims of the fire & representatives from council & disaster management at 2pm and together they made an assessment of the immediate needs.

A collection point was set up at a clients premises in Houghton. Within two hours, Vision Tactical mobilized their clients to arrange the following:

  • Blankets
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Toiletries & Hygiene packs.

The response was overwhelming. Clients dropped off food supplies, blankets, and everything else that was required for the immediate needs of the Berea Fire victims. Three 1 ton vehicles filled to capacity was delivered at 4:30pm to the premises and handed over to the Councillor & disaster Management to be distributed to the residence of the burnt house.

“We will keep in contact with residence and the Councillor to continue assessing the damage and needs of the victims of this devastating fire”- Yaseen Theba, Director of Vision Tactical.

“We thank the generous clients and friends who opened their hearts to assist at this time of need, this is the spirit of Ubuntu”, he added.

Media Enquiries:

Yaseen Theba 

064 400 0000

Councilor: 0726927002

Learn how to survive the chaos of a violent protest.

We find ourselves in tense times currently and many people are not happy with their circumstances. Couple that with ‘powers-that-be’ who wish to agitate (divide and conquer) in an attempt to control an outcome. Sad to say, but recent changes in our country have made it necessary for people to learn how to survive the chaos of a violent protest.

Avoidance is probably the first step, with social media now providing an excellent way of tracking this.

In a large crowd, the energy of mass emotion can be contagious and rapidly spiral out of control. It often will only take one person to set a chain reaction in motion of high emotion or chaos. Recent protests may have become violent by agitators who have been planted there to set things in motion.

Stay calm and keep your emotions in check. Violent protests & riots coincide with intense emotions that boil to the surface, but if you want to survive one you would be better off keeping your own emotions in check. In the heat of the moment, your adrenaline and survival instincts will kick in, but try to think rationally and pursue safety in a methodical manner.

Avoid confrontation. The presumption here is that you have not intended to participate in a choas, so do not engage with others. Keep your head down, while at the same time looking for safe exit, but maintain situational awareness.

Mob or Herd mentality is sometimes a fear-based reaction to peer pressure which makes individuals act in order to avoid feeling “left behind” from the group.

People in a violent mob will believe they cannot be held responsible for violent behavior because they perceive the violent action as the group’s (e.g., “everyone was doing it”) rather than their own behavior. When in a large group, people tend to experience less individual responsibility. Typically, the bigger a mob, the more its members lose self-awareness and become willing to engage in dangerous behavior. When people feel that their behavior cannot be traced back to them, they are more likely to break social norms and engage in violence. Group violence is most likely to occur when the group is large, and people are able to remain anonymous.

Do not be singled out – just keep moving without engaging. Even if your emotional state wants to challenge the protest or the looting, don’t do it. There’s absolutely nothing to gain – you are not going to change anyone’s mind at this point…

Walk. Don’t run. Don’t stop. If you run or go too quickly, you might attract unwanted attention.

Move inside and stay there. Typically riots happen in the streets, or somewhere outside. Being inside, especially in a large and sturdy structure, can be good protection to wait it out. (though beware of potential looting)

Keep your doors and windows locked. Don’t watch the riot from windows or balconies. Move to inside rooms, where the danger of being hit by stones, bullets, ect is minimized. Try to find at least two possible exits in case you need to evacuate the building in a hurry.

Stay on the sidelines. If you’re caught up in a chaos, don’t take sides. Try to look as inconspicuous as possible, and slowly and carefully move to the outside of the mob. Stay close to walls or other protective barriers if possible but try to avoid bottlenecks of people. These are areas where the crowd can be squashed into a tight place, such as passages, pillars, high fences and walls that go on for a long way.

It’s hard to tell the victims from the violent protestors in a chaotic environment, and if you approach the police for help at that time, they may mistake that for intent to harm. This tip might seem a little counter-intuitive at first, but it really is a smart move during a violent protest. Whether or not you are involved in a protest, be careful of how you approach authorities – try to ensure you are not seen as a threat.

Once you are personally safe (with or without your vehicle) call family or friends to let them know where you are, and what is happening.

If you’re caught up in a car, stay calm. Remain inside the car unless your car becomes a focus for the riot, in which case it risks being torched, smashed or rolled over. Calmly and swiftly leave it behind and get to safety if that happens. If people seem to block your escape route; use your hooter, and carefully drive through or around them at a moderate speed, and they should move out of the way. Driving towards police lines can be interpreted by the police as a preparation to use the car as a weapon against them. DON’T DO IT.

Move away from the riot. The more time you spend in the midst of the chaos, the greater your chance of being injured or killed. That said, in most circumstances it’s better to move out of a protest and choas slowly. It can also be dangerous to move against a crowd, so go with the flow until you are able to escape into a doorway or into a street away from the crowd. Think of crowd movement like currents in the ocean. In a large riot, the crowd in the middle will be moving faster than the people on the perimeters. As such, if you find yourself in the middle, you should not try to move in a different direction, but follow the flow and slowly make your way to the outside. This requires patience in order to work properly.

Watch your footing in a mob situation. If you stumble and fall to the ground you’re likely to be trampled. This is especially dangerous in stadiums and other enclosed areas, where many unfortunate victims have been crushed to death. If you fall down, pull yourself up into a ball. Protect your face, ears and internal organs. In this position you are a smaller object that can be avoided. You will receive less damage if you are stepped on. If others trip on you they will help create a larger “pile” that rioters will avoid.

If you’re with your family or a group of friends when the chaos breaks loose, make sure to stick together.

If at all possible, try to agree to a good meeting place to regroup at ahead of time. Your time is better spent looking for an exit instead of trying to find people who’ve gotten lost.

When a riot breaks out, one of the most common crowd dispersion tools used by police or military is tear gas.

Note: ‘Tear Gas’ is technically a micro-pulverized powder dispensed with a pressure sprayer, or various grenade-like canisters. If it is in the eyes, to clear the eyes have the victim lie down, turn his head to the side and wash the eyes with water or saline. You are removing the micro-pulverized powder from the eyes and face and not washing it over into the other eye.

Keep emergency numbers stored in your phone on speed dial. This is a good idea in general – they are always handy in an emergency:

  • Vision Tactical
  • 084 222 2222
  • SAPS
  • 10111
  • Emergency Dial (Cell Phone)
  • 112
  • ER 24
  • 084 124