36 dead, 557 sick in Listeria outbreak in South Africa

At a media briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday, South African Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced that since January 1, 2017 up until November 29, 557 laboratory confirmed cases have been reported.

Of the 557 cases, the department of health has found the final outcome of 70 confirmed cases of listeriosis.

“Of these 70 cases, 36 persons have perished,” said Motsoaledi.

The source of the outbreak is currently being investigated, but Motsoaledi said it’s believe that this particular outbreak is from a food source that is being consumed by both the rich and the poor, and the contamination points may well be farms and food processing plants.

Over 1000 sickened with links to South African dairy

Malibongwe Dayimani of Dispatch Live reports a King William’s Town dairy that supplied a number of schools in the area with fermented milk, or amasi, was last week ordered to close.

161102dairy01maInnesfree Agriculture and Dairy was identified as a supplier of amasi to a number of schools in the area where over 1000 pupils from 12 schools fell sick after eating amasi and pap.

The dairy was told to shut after Buffalo City Metro’s health services found it to be in contravention of regulations relating to the sale of milk and dairy products which state that the selling of raw milk and raw sour milk for human consumption is prohibited.

In the compliance notice, which is in the Daily Dispatch’s possession, Innesfree was ordered to stop selling dairy products with immediate effect and dispose of any raw milk or raw sour milk.

Innesfree owner Sherene Fourie accused the provincial government of being on a “witch-hunt” and said she was being targeted unfairly.

Fourie said “most” of the schools where pupils fell ill were not on the list of schools supplied by her dairy.

Fourie said health inspectors were wrong to point fingers at her because schools and individual buyers fetched milk from her shop using their own containers. “Did they go to the schools to check if the containers were sterilised? Or whether the food they cook at school was prepared in a proper manner?”

Fourie said some schools bought milk from her and stored it in their own tanks and nobody knew if those tanks were sterilised.

There were hundreds of dairies in the province selling raw milk, she added. “I would like to know, am I the only one who is shut down or are they planning to shut down other businesses?”

Last week 1056 pupils from 11 schools were treated for diarrhoea in three provincial hospitals after eating sour milk and pap offered by the national school nutrition programme.

South Africa doesn’t have capacity to forecast, track a foodborne disease

A University of Pretoria (UP) food safety expert warns South Africa does not have adequate capacity to forecast and track a foodborne disease.

140818supermarket-jpgProfessor Lise Korsten has told a parliamentary workshop food safety is compromised due to a lack of integrated regulation.

Korsten says providing quality produce to poor communities remains the biggest challenge to food security.

She adds that the lack of an independent regulatory body to ensure food safety further compounds concern around the level of toxins in some food.

Korsten says while several policies have been drafted, no integrated system exists to curb foodborne diseases.

She adds industry and government need to be transparent and accountable regarding food certification.

Always cameras: South Africa KFC branch shuts after images go viral

Fast food franchise KFC has announced its store in Braamfontein has been closed until further notice after images of staff “washing chickens” on a dirty floor surfaced on social media this week.

kfc.wash.chickenA Facebook user posted images of what appeared to be KFC staff in Braamfontein allegedly taking chicken pieces out of containers, placing them on a concrete floor and hosing them down.

The person who posted the images, Mfumo Bamuza, received them from an anonymous Joburg resident who took them from the balcony of his Clifton Heights flat in Braamfontein.

In the two images, staff can be seen using a hose to spray a large volume of water on to the uncooked chicken pieces.

In one image, blood and water can be seen streaming across the floor.

Bamuza captioned the picture: “KFC Braamfontein comrades!!! This is how they wash your meat. On the ground!!!!! Photocred goes to a south point (Clifton Heights) resident. #knowwhatyoueat.”

Over 200 South African students examined for food poisoning

Some pupils were vomiting and others complained of abdominal pains, said spokesman Macks Lesufi in an e-mail.

vomit.toiletHe said at least 100 pupils were examined, treated, and released at Jane Furse hospital on Monday, while three of them were admitted.

Another 133 pupils were taken for examination to St Ritas hospital on the same day. Two of them were admitted.

Another eight pupils were taken to St Ritas on Tuesday, and one of them was admitted.

Lesufi said the three admitted to this hospital had since been discharged.

He could not confirm reports that shards of glass had been found in food eaten by the children.

Basic education department spokesman Elijah Mhlanga could not immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier, The Star reported that 275 pupils at Makeke Primary School were taken to hospital on Monday after eating food that contained pieces of glass.

150 South African students hospitalized after glass found in food

Hungry Limpopo school children are the unsuspecting victims of an alleged tender war between food suppliers, according to reports.

glass.in.foodOn Monday more than 150 pupils from Kwena Tshwena Primary School in Ridgefontein were rushed to hospital after crushed glass was alleged found in their food, eNCA reported.

According an unnamed staff member the children received food from the school’s feeding scheme and by the afternoon a group of pupils were sent to hospital after complaining of stomach cramps and vomiting.

The staffer told eNCA that by Monday evening over 150 pupils were admitted to hospital.

Thabo Mogoaneng, an uncle of one of the children, told the news channel that it was not the first time such an incident had occurred.

Mogoaneng claimed that the poisoning and crushed bottles found in food were a result of the ongoing tender war between food suppliers.

The latest incident is the third one reported in Limpopo in as many months.

‘Children come to our schools to get support, not to leave in stretchers’ Third child dies in suspected food poisoning case in South Africa

Cake provided by a community member may have resulted in the deaths of three children in Winterveldt, north of Pretoria.
It was earlier reported that three children died after eating food provided through a state feeding scheme at the Ema Primary School.

140528soup-jpgBut Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says a preliminary report indicates that all three of the children had also eaten food from a non-feeding scheme source.

“From the feeding programme we provided yesterday, dough or bread was not part of the menu. It emerged that they ate cake, and we did not provide cake. Late last night a granny came forward to say she had provided the cake.” Police are now interrogating the woman.

The three girls, aged between 6 and 8, died at a local clinic shortly after falling ill at the primary school yesterday.

Lesufi has ordered an investigation into the incident and says other pupils who ate the government supplied food have been observed overnight and are in good health.

“I’m speechless. Children come to our schools to get support, not to leave our schools in stretchers. I’m saddened and don’t have words to describe this. I will investigate this.”

Silence of the goats; traditional slaughter in South Africa

The South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries estimated in 2012 that there were 2.033 million goats in the country.

Of these animals, less than 0.5% are slaughtered at registered abattoirs. Although informal and traditional slaughter of goats for home consumption is permitted under the South African Meat Safety Act 40 of 2000, the responsibility for ensuring that products are safe is left to the traditional or ritual slaughter practitioners. The objective of the the_silence_of_the_lambspresent study was to assess whether preslaughter activities associated with traditional or ritual slaughter promote or reduce food-associated risks and to recommend mitigation strategies for potential food safety hazards.

Structured interviews were conducted with 105 selected respondents (in and around Tshwane, South Africa) who had been involved in traditional goat slaughter. Approximately 70% of goats slaughtered were obtained from sources that could be traced to ascertain the origin of the goats. None of the respondents were aware of the need for a health declaration for slaughter stock. Some slaughter practitioners (21%) perform prepurchase inspection of stock to ascertain their health status. However, this percentage is very small, and the approach is based on indigenous knowledge systems.

The majority of respondents (67.6%) travelled 1 to 11 km to obtain a goat for traditional slaughter. Although approximately 70% of slaughter goats were transported by vehicles, the vehicles used did not meet the legal standard. More than two-thirds of goats were tied to a tree while waiting to be slaughtered, and the rest were held in a kraal. The holding period ranged from 1 to 72 h, but more than 70% of the animals were slaughtered within 36 h.

This study revealed that traditional and ritual slaughter involves some preslaughter activities with potential to mitigate the risk of slaughtering animals that are not fit for human consumption. Such activities include prepurchase inspection, obtaining goats from known and traceable sources, and ensuring that animals have sufficient rest before slaughter. However, given the rudimentary nature of these activities, they may not offer adequate protection to consumers of such meat.

The lack of understanding of the importance of a obtaining a health declaration certificate and minimizing stress in animals waiting to be slaughtered should be addressed to minimize the potential for propagation of foodborne diseases. The Meat Safety Act 40 of 2000 should be enforced where it applies and should be reviewed to provide guidelines that would help mitigate human health risks associated with traditional slaughter of goats.

 Assessment of food safety risks associated with preslaughter activities during the traditional slaughter of goats in Gauteng, South Africa

Journal of Food Protection, Number 6, June 2014, pp. 872-1042, pp. 1031-1037(7)

Qekwana, Nenene Daniel; Oguttu, James Wabwire


42 sickened; diarrhea outbreak caused by Salmonella in South Africa

Salmonella was the likely cause of a diarrhea outbreak in Limpopo, South Africa, earlier this week where 42 people were hospitalised, a Sapa correspondent reported on Tuesday.

The outbreak was reported on Monday by the provincial diseases outbreak response team, which believed the initial cause was contaminated food or water at Mokopane Family guy barfLodge.

“We took water and food samples immediately after the outbreak and preliminary results on the food samples have identified salmonella food poisoning,” response team member Macks Lesufi said.

“We are still yet to get results on the water samples, but so far we have put the whole lodge under quarantine until further notice.”

Lesufi did not provide a copy of the preliminary results, as it was state property.

“We will only release the final results to the public maybe after Thursday,” he said.

Food destined for dump sickens 100 in S.Africa squatter camp

There’s a reason expired and recalled food is supposed to be dumped in a secure manner.

Associated Press reports cookies, candies, jams and juice destined for a dump instead went to Themba Mgodla as payment for loading a truck. Only some of the goods he planned to sell in his squatter camp turned out to be a decade old, sickening more than 100 people.

Desperate for work, Mgodla said he had gone to a factory food shop seeking employment. A driver there was supposed to take the food items to a dump, but offered to let Mgodla have the load in exchange for helping put it on a truck.

He planned to sell the food, not knowing that some of the expiration dates went as far back as 2000. Once he got to his squatter camp, some of his hungry neighbors snatched goods from him.