Listeriosis can result in miscarriage, premature delivery, and serious infection of the newborn or even stillbirth when contracted by pregnant women.
The COMESA Competition Commission (CCCC) has issued a statement, urging member countries to be vigilant following the Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa which has contaminated some meat products from the country.
Listeriosis is food poisoning caused by eating foods contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria that are found in raw milk, vegetables that are contaminated from the soil or from manure used as fertilizer, and infected animals.
According to webmd.com, Listeriosis can result in miscarriage, premature delivery, and serious infection of the newborn or even stillbirth when contracted by pregnant women.
After investigations by the South African authorities, the National Consumer Commission (NCC) of South Africa has issued safety recall notices to Tiger Brands Unit - Enterprise Food and Rainbow Chickens Limited.
The recalled products, which are reported to have been contaminated by Listeria, are processed meat products which are sold ready-to-eat and these include polony, viennas/sausages and other cold meats.
The CCC noted that it has become aware that there is also further risk of cross-contamination of other ready-to-eat processed meat products through the transfer of listeria from contaminated products, either at production, distribution or retail.
The Commission's research has revealed that Listeriosis is a food-borne disease which comes due to consumption of contaminated foods, particularly, unpasteurized milk, soft cheese and meat products.
It is caused by listeria monocytogenes and unlike most food-borne pathogens, listeria multiplies readily in refrigerated foods that have been contaminated. According to the information available to the Commission, there is no vaccine against Listeriosis.
"In view of the foregoing and pursuant to Article 30 (1) (b) of the COMESA Competition Regulations (the "Regulations"), the Commission would therefore like to inform the general public to exercise caution and avoid consumption of the affected meat products," the CCCC said in a statement.
"The Commission has further invoked Article 31 (2) (b) of the Regulations and directed Enterprise Food and Rainbow Chickens to Cease the exportation into or sale to the public by their distributor and related dealers in the Common Market until such a time when the situation returns to normalcy and the general public is informed accordingly," the statement added. Ends….///