Facts on the Listeria outbreak hounding South Africa today
After several months of investigation, authorities were only able to confirm on Sunday the case of Listeria outbreak hounding South Africa.
It’s not because of incompetence or insufficient resources, they said in their defense. Instead, they blamed the meat-processing industry for “not cooperating for months” and “not bring[ing] the samples as requested.
“It is not that we are incompetent, or that we have inadequate resources,” an official reportedly told Reuters.
Listeria is a type of bacterium that invade the body through a normal and intact gastrointestinal tract.
Last year, it killed about 180 people and caused poisoning to nearly 1,000 people in the region. The U.N. described it as the biggest listeria outbreak in history.
Government’s investigation traced the source to a contaminated bologna-ish food product produced by Enterprise Food, the meat-processing business unit of Tiger Brands which is the continent’s largest packaged-foods manufacturer.
Retail stores have recalled several of the firm’s products. The company received backlash from several customers who demanded refunds and that its products be incinerated to keep from causing further damage.