Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa

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The Club would like to draw Member’s attention to the notification of an outbreak of Listeriosis in South Africa. Inspectors from the Department of Health and Agriculture and the World Health Organisation (WHO) sampled processed meats which tested positive for the ST6 type strain.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) have advised that most people would not feel the effect of Listeriosis, but pregnant women and those with weak immune systems are more susceptible to illness.

The majority of patients reported to have contracted the disease are said to have eaten processed meats. Listeria is likely to continue multiplying under normal refrigerated conditions, therefore uncooked processed meats, smoked meats and soft cheeses are particularly prone to contamination.

It is recommended that crew check whether Enterprise chilled processed meats (including russians, viennas and polony, as well as Rainbow’s chicken polony) have been supplied locally. The NICD also recommends using diluted bleach to clean areas where viennas and polony may have been kept.

Local ship chandlers should be able to provide clear laboratory tests for other cold meats and other high-risk products that are sourced locally. Should you have any queries concerning this topic, please contact one of the Club’s correspondents in South Africa.

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