Some South Africans seem convinced that the deadly Listeriosis outbreak is now a thing of the past, and are back to indulging a variety of processed meats including polony, viennas and russians. This is despite continued warnings from the health department to stay away from these foods, especially from certain brands, until otherwise informed.
Yes the Pick 'n Pay shelves are fully packed, I think it's safe now, they can't risk the like lives of our ppl— Mfanelo Patuleni (@MPatuleni) May 7, 2018
So #Listeriosis e feditse go trenda, byaanong le boetse diphatlhong/dikoteng? 🤔— How_Art™ (@How_Art_M) May 5, 2018
200 people have reportedly died of the food-borne disease since January 2017, with at least 1,024 cases of people having contracted Listeriosis reported. In March, the source of the outbreak was traced to an Enterprise Foods (Tiger Brands) factory in Polokwane, leading to a massive recall of all its polony products. Shortly thereafter, RCL Foods also recalled all its polony products and suspended operations at its Wolwehoek processing plant.
As recent as Friday last week, the department of health, in a series of tweets, continued to warn South Africans against indulging in cold meats.
And here's a reminder of who is most at risk, and the signs and symptoms of the disease:
#Listeriosis is an infectious disease caused by eating contaminated ready-to-eat meat and dairy products.— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) April 19, 2018
It is a serious, but preventable and treatable disease. https://t.co/6HEwgE64Jz pic.twitter.com/RLKSHpDovi
The number of reported cases has declined since April, but South Africans are not in the clear yet. Until there is official communication from health authorities, shoppers are advised to keep safe.
Further, if you're not buying at a shop where you can verify that the products being used are safe, rather not risk yours or your family's health.
No more processed meat for me, regardless of brand.— Captain C (@CaptainCuzzy) May 7, 2018
Meanwhile, the department of health has reportedly blocked Tiger Brands from accessing the medical records of hundreds of listeriosis patients, Times Select reported. The company says it needs the records to defend itself on charges that it is responsible for the listeriosis outbreak.