South Africa: Namibia 'Pulls Products Linked to Listeriosis Off Shelves' - Report

Microscopic view of Listeriosis bacteria.

The Namibian ministry of health has reportedly instructed food inspectors to remove products that are likely linked to listeriosis from shelves in shops all over the country.

This came after reports this week said that the southern African country had recorded its first case of listeriosis, with a 41-year-old man said to be fighting for his life in a hospital in Windhoek.

A BBC report quoted the country's health minister Bernard Haufiku as saying that the man became ill after eating a vienna sausage from a butchery in the north of the capital.

In a statement, acting health permanent secretary Petronella Masabane directed the "immediate removal of Rainbow Chicken and Enterprise Food Ltd products from the shelves", said the Namibian newspaper.

"The environmental health practitioners are encouraged to take appropriate measures to ensure that these products are removed from the shelves of food establishments in their respective areas in accordance to relevant laws," Masabane was quoted as saying.

Masabane said that the import and transit movement of ready-to-eat food such as polony, Russian sausages, frankfurters, viennas, all types of ham, salamis and smeer wors from South Africa had been banned and stressed that regions with points of entry were advised to strengthen surveillance in this regard.

Namibia was one of the first four countries in southern Africa to take steps against South African chilled meat imports when the outbreak of listeria was announced a few weeks ago.

The World Health Organisation said South Africa's listeria outbreak, with nearly 750 confirmed cases, was believed to be the largest-ever.

Listeriosis is a disease caused by bacteria from soil, water, vegetation and animal faeces which can contaminate fresh food, notably meat.

Source: News24

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