Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says nine children from a creche in Soweto, south of Johannesburg, fell ill and were hospitalised for Listeriosis that they had contracted after consuming contaminated food at the creche. 180 people have died since January in 2017.

“As of the second of March 2018 a total of laboratory confirmed cases have risen to 948 cases, still as we were counting from January 2017 of the 948 cases we have been able to trace 659 patients and unfortunately 180 of them have demised.”

Motsoaledi was briefing the media in Johannesburg on government’s response to the Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa.

The source of the outbreak has been traced to an Enterprise food manufacturing plant in Polokwane.

“On Friday January 12, nine children under the age of five years were presented to Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto with febrile gastroenteritis. The paediatrician suspected a food borne disease including Listeriosis as the possible cause of their illness. The environmental health practitioners obtained samples from two unrelated polony brands manufactured by Enterprise and Rainbow chicken respectively. Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from stool collected from one of the ill children and from both the polony specimens collected from the creche.”

Motsoaledi says the source of the current outbreak of Listeriosis in South Africa is polony and cold meats.

“A team from the NICD has interviewed 109 ill patients about the food they have eaten in the last month before falling ill. 85%t of these people reported eating ready to eat processed meat products of which polony was the most common, followed by viennas, sausages as well as other cold meats. The source of the present outbreak is the enterprise food production facility located in Polokwane. “

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