In a recent media statement, the government enumerated a long list of actions taken to manage the listeriosis outbreak, which, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is the biggest outbreak ever seen anywhere in the world. In every crisis situation it is important that lessons are learned; when it is a matter of life or death, it is critical. It is commendable that the government has taken steps such as strengthening the National Health Laboratory Service’s food-testing capacity; and making a concerted effort to keep the public, especially the vulnerable groups, informed with accurate health information about the disease and its prevention. Steps have also been taken to prevent the export of any contaminated meats to SA’s trading partners abroad, including the rescinding by the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries of the export certification of any products implicated in the outbreak. However, one critical question remains: is the inspection regime for meat im...

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