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.