Shops remove suspect meat after listeriosis source named

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A notice at Pick n Pay informs shoppers that products linked to the listeriosis outbreak have been removed from the shelves. Photo: Kathryn Cleary.

Following Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi’s Sunday announcement identifying the source of the national listeriosis outbreak, Grahamstown shops have taken swiftly to emptying their shelves of all Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken Limited (RCL) products.

OakTree Spar owner Jill White commented; “Once we became aware of the announcement we immediately withdrew all Enterprise meat products from our shelves. As a precautionary measure we have also withdrawn Rainbow products until the situation with that supplier is clarified. We will be increasing our supply of Spar Meat products to replace the void. We are very relieved that the source of this disease has been identified.”

 

Shoprite National, which includes Checkers, issued a statement 4 March: “Supermarkets in the Shoprite Group have immediately this afternoon (Sunday, 04 March 2018) started to remove all ready to eat processed meat products produced by Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken from its perishable departments and delicatessens, following the announcement by the Minister of Health today that the NCC has issued these manufacturers with notices to recall all products produced in their Polokwane, Germiston and Free State factories respectively and to cease production as a result of tests linking the Listeria monocytogenes ST6 strain positively with these plants.

Customers were also invited to return any Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken processed meat (cold meats like polonies, Vienna’s, Russians etc) products they have at home for a full refund.  

The Group said it was relieved that definite sources of the outbreak had been identified so that consumers now had some peace of mind about their food purchases. It would do all that was necessary to assist the Ministry of Health’s measures to contain the outbreak of Listeriosis.

Following the Minister of Health’s announcement about a national outbreak of Listeriosis last year, the Shoprite Group said it had immediately instituted an enhanced monitoring plan on top of its regular independent audits of store food preparation areas in an effort to detect if a risk of Listeria was present, given that the bacterium naturally occurs in the environment.

Shoprite Group said that it has “a well-developed risk assessment programme in place that confirms the adherence to food safety and hygiene protocols in its supermarkets”.

Notices line Pick n Pay shelves informing customers of recalled products. Photo: Kathryn Cleary.

Pick n Pay’s statement, also issued on 4 March, reads as follows;

“Following the Minister of Health’s announcement earlier this afternoon on the source of the listeria outbreak, Pick n Pay has acted immediately to withdraw all products from the manufacturing sites identified by the Department of Health.

“Enterprise and Rainbow supply a very broad range of retailers across South Africa. All Enterprise products (including the Bokkie, Renown, Lifestyle and Mieliekip brands) have already been recalled by the company concerned and we are urgently withdrawing them from our stores. In addition, all ready-to-eat products such as polony and russian sausages manufactured at the Rainbow facility in Sasolburg are also being withdrawn. This action is taking place in all Pick n Pay and Boxer stores. In addition, as a precaution, Pick n Pay branded chicken polony, manufactured by Rainbow, is also being withdrawn,” Pick n Pay said in their statement..

“All fridges and food preparation areas in our stores will now be re-cleaned to prevent any cross-contamination. Recalled meat is being isolated and will be safely destroyed.

“The safety of customers is always our top concern. Any customer who is concerned that they may have bought a ready-to-eat meat product linked to the outbreak can return it to our stores for a full refund.”

Grocott’s Mail urges residents to heed precautions, and to properly dispose of any remaining potentially contaminated product that may be in their homes. Should any person(s) be experiencing symptoms of listeriosis it is advised to visit a doctor or clinic as soon as possible.

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