Listeria causes hysteria

It is difficult to understand then, with such pressing responsibility, how a potentially life-threatening bacterium could go undetected long enough to affect a reported 976 people (according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases).

0
373
The Bulletin Newspaper
Notices at Pick ‘n’ Pay stores urged customers to return products implicated in the listeriosis outbreak.

A relatively recent listeria outbreak has had South Africa in the grips of panic. On 4 March 2018, Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health, revealed that the bacteria was linked to an Enterprise facility in Polokwane, Limpopo. Fingers were also pointed at Rainbow Chicken Limited.
At present, all processed, ready-to-eat Enterprise meats seem to have been removed from all local stores (i.e in the TEKS area), and all customers have been urged to return these products for a full refund, with or without a till slip.
To clear up misconceptions regarding the Rainbow Chicken products, widespread precaution entails the removal of cold meats that are eaten as is, as opposed to those that are meant to be cooked first, since listeria dies at high temperatures.
On many levels, the onset of listeriosis is indicative of a disastrous failure at the very basic levels of food control and safety in South Africa. With over 180 deaths due to the illness, recent events beg the question, “How did this happen?”
The Food Control section of the Health Department identifies itself as being “responsible for ensuring the safety of food in South Africa”, while it is also the responsibility of individual food manufacturers to maintain the safety and quality of their products. It is difficult to understand then, with such pressing responsibility, how a potentially life-threatening bacterium could go undetected long enough to affect a reported 976 people (according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases). Assigning the function of food inspections to municipalities, as opposed to national government, has been recognised as one of the biggest mistakes of our Constitution. Motsoaledi believed it to be too heavy a job for municipalities, who are already weighed down by “basic services which they must provide, like refuse removal.”
The listeria outbreak has proven, amongst other things, that South Africans are able to maintain a spirit of light-heartedness, even in the midst of fatal circumstances. With social media being somewhat of a pivot for our modern society, the overwhelming spread of listeriosis has ushered in a new wave of humorous memes, tweets and banter.
But the full scope of the eruption has left many South Africans poorly informed and unsure of what to do, so here are some key things you should know:
1.Listeriosis mainly affects the elderly, newborns, pregnant women, and those with impaired immune systems
2.It can easily be prevented by washing hands before and after handling food, cooking food thoroughly, and keeping foods at safe and appropriate temperatures
3.Its symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headaches and diarrhoea
4.It is treatable, so if you’re suspicious, see a doctor
Rorisang Rathebe

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here