Listeriosis: NICD aren't happy with the DA for making "misleading claims"

This a stock photo of cold meats, not Woolworths pro

Listeriosis: This is how the disease survives in tainted food products

It’s a tough thing to get rid of

Listeriosis: NICD aren't happy with the DA for making "misleading claims"

This a stock photo of cold meats, not Woolworths pro

On Sunday, Minister of health Aaron Motsoaledi stated that the worst outbreak of Listeriosis in history could be traced back to an Enterprise polony production factory in Polokwane.

A second facility in Germiston as well as a Rainbow Chicken facility in the Free State is also under suspicion. However, further tests are still needed as the sequence type was not known.

What do I do with my Enterprise food products?

As Motsoaledi said yesterday, they need to be stored somewhere completely separate from your main fridge. In fact, he also stated that fridges and meat slicers need a thorough clean if they’ve been used to store the “ready to eat” meats.

What Enterprise food products must I avoid?

Viennas, Russians, Frankfurters, other sausages and cold meats not typically cooked could are at greatest risk of carrying the disease. That includes any sliced or process meats too. If you’re over the age of 65 or currently pregnant, you are advised to stay away from all ready-made meat.

How does Listeriosis survive in food?

Michael Johnson is the leader of a Food Safety Consortium research team, at the University of Arkansas’ Division of Agriculture. Johnson has studied how the cells find ways to survive even when the bacteria are actively being killed off.

He concludes that the L. monocytogenes cells – the carriers of Listeriosis – can survive off of the waste products left behind by other dead cells. They are also capable of stopping their metabolism. This means the bacteria can “freeze” itself in time, and re-emerge when survival conditions are more favourable.

As reported by TimesLive, Listeria cells are also capable of “shielding” themselves from the rigours of cleaning products. According to Professor Lucia Anelich from Anelich Consulting Food Safety Solutions, Listeriosis can cover itself in a sugary-biofilm, which resists the effects of other bacteria.

In solid foods, it can avoid detection down to sheer luck. Listeriosis isn’t ever-present in meat. It could exist in one slice of a packet, without existing in any others.

According to the NCID, 180 patients have died from a total of 948 cases, at a mortality rate of 27%. It it pivotal that food preparation areas are kept clean, and meat that requires cooking is done at 74C / 165F and above.