Botswana on Monday reviewed imports of processed meat items from South Africa after a major listeria flare-up was connected to an industrial facility there, the ministry of health said in an announcement.
Botswana’s move follows a similar ban by Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia in the wake of the outbreak that has claimed 180 lives in South Africa.
Mozambique on Monday banned imports of processed meat products from South Africa after a deadly listeria outbreak was linked to a factory there, the ministry of agriculture and food security said.
“(Ministry) asks that all owners of establishments that commercialize these products start to withdraw from the shelves due to the danger that this constitutes to health,” a statement from the ministry said.
Meanwhile, consumer writer Wendy Knowler tells panicking consumers they do not need not to throw away everything in their fridges to get rid of listeriosis bacteria.
“The listeria is a terrible little bacteria to get rid of which is why we are sitting with this problem. It hides the plants around the country and is notoriously hard to get rid of. But it is killed by heat. I am getting a lot of questions — must I throw my bacon — must I throw my frozen chicken pieces out. No no if you going to cook something the heat is going to kill it. So it will survive in the fridge but once you cook the product it is fine to eat. And so all the usual precautions around that.
“There are certain products that have been identified. Educate yourself.I think there is a lot of panic in the market that we need to manage somehow.”