Expert calls for co-operation in listeriosis probe
A leading meat scientist warns the bacteria could have been introduced into factories from another source
A leading meat scientist has urged the companies implicated in SA’s biggest recorded outbreak of listeriosis to collaborate in efforts to determine how their products became contaminated with deadly listeria bacteria. More than 180 people have died in the outbreak since January 2017. The outbreak was traced after scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases found listeria in polony made by both Tiger Brands and RCL Foods at a Soweto crêche, where several children took ill with listeriosis. "Several of the ingredients used to make polony could potentially harbour listeria, but the bacteria could have been introduced into a factory from another source," said Louw Hoffman, chair of meat science at Stellenbosch University. Tiger Brands said its polony was made from water, mechanically deboned chicken, soya protein, pork, tapioca starch, salt, dextrose, sucrose, irradiated spices, flavourings, onion, spice extracts, phosphates, monosodium glutamate, sodium erythorbate...