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Ministry recalls cold meat products

 Following identification of the source of outbreak of Listeriosis in South Africa, Ministry of Health and Wellness has recalled ready-to-eat meat products associated with the disease.

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection that primarily affects the elderly, the immune-compromised, pregnant women and new-borns.

It is contracted by consumption of contaminated foods such as meat, milk and milk products, fruits and vegetables.

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhea.

If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.
But infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness.

A news release from the ministry states that all supermarkets, shops, distributors and importers of the ready-to-eat meat products of the affected Enterprise (Bokkie, Renown, Mielieklip and Lyfestyle) and Rainbow products (polony, russians and viennas) have been issued with mandatory recall for such products with immediate effect.

The release further states that some of the imported products are part of the local distribution and retail, hence customers are advised to return such products to the respective retailers for a full refund.

The ministry further advised the public to avoid all processed ready-to-eat meat products that have been implicated.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness further states that it will continue to collaborate with South Africa to monitor the situation and give regular updates.

Meanwhile, the renowned citizen owned company, Senn Foods Botswana has allayed fears of contaminated ready-to-eat meat products that it produces.

In an interview, Senn Foods production manager, Mr Mike De-Witt said he was aware that  the current outbreak of Listeriosis, being a food-borne illness, has understandably led to some concerns from consumers that their products may be affected, but noted that their products were safe to eat.

He said Senn Foods produced highest quality products, following good hygiene procedures that were in line with the company’s food safety controls to mitigate possible food safety risk, including micro-biological risks.

Mr De-witt said since the outbreak of Listeriosis, the company had put in place major controls such as further testing of the processed meat products for further due diligence.

He also said the plant used independent laboratories to ensure that products met strict expectations and that the mark of quality was retained.

He said he was confident about safety of Senn Foods products and that consumers should remain calm because so far nothing had been identified in their products.
“We get most of our spices and preservatives from BMC, hence there should be no panic,” he said.

A news release from Senn Foods states that the company was working closely with leading food science and technologists, both national and international, in the implementation and management of International Health and Safety Standards.

The release further states that Senn Foods adheres to good hygiene practices as per Codex Standards, which is a collection of internationally recognised standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety.

In a random sample of chain stores around Gaborone, BOPA found that most chain stores such as Woolworths, Pick n Pay only sold locally produced ready-to-eat meat, while at Shoprite, the store has since recalled cold meat products from South Africa following the identification of cold meats as the source of the bacteria. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Mmoniemang Motsamai

Location : GABORONE

Event : news release

Date : Mar 06 Tue,2018


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