An article written by the Citizen newspaper said that the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries (DAFF) has been asked to ban chicken and poultry products imported from Brazil after several tons of chicken were disposed of due to contamination of Salmonella enteritidis.
The South African Poultry Association’s (Sapa) claimed its calls to have Brazilian chicken banned in South Africa was in the interests of the public, because chicken imports were not only killing the local industry, but could potentially kill consumers.
In August 2018 , the UK, Germany and the Netherlands rejected 10 consignments of chicken from Brazil after Salmonella risks were detected.
In February 2019 Brazil’s largest chicken producer, BRF SA, recalled more than 450 tons of fresh chicken, most of which was destined for international markets, after laboratory tests detected a risk of Salmonella enteritidis.
Paul Matthew, CEO of the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters, said the group was challenging Sapa’s application to the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa to have government increase chicken import tariffs, and have filed submissions in this regard.
South Africans consume 200,000 tons of chicken a month, with 170,000 tons locally produced.
A spokesman at DAFF said “We have drawn all samples we have taken over the past year and those that don’t comply we deal with accordingly. It cannot be a blanket ban. We are dealing with every consignment as it comes, based on the risk posed.”
What is Salmonella?
Salmonellosis (caused by the bacterium Salmonella)
Salmonellosis is the most common and widely distributed food-borne illness, with tens of millions human cases occurring worldwide every year.
It is caused by the bacterium, Salmonella, and is contracted by consuming food that is contaminated with the bacterium. Since the beginning of the 1990s several antibiotic- resistant salmonella strains emerged, causing a serious public health concern. There is no vaccine currently available.
How to Prevent Salmonella Contamination:
Prevention requires control measures at all stages of the food chain. Salmonella can pass through the entire food chain from animal feed, primary production, and all the way to households or food-service establishments and institutions.
- Cook poultry, beef and eggs thoroughly.
- Do not eat, drink or serve foods containing raw eggs, or raw (unpasteurised) milk.
- Practice clean-as-you-go.
- Avoid any cross contamination (make use of colour-coded boards to separate food groups)
- Wash your hands before handling any food, between handling different food items and in-between tasks.
- Keep food at safe temperatures
- No staff member should prepare food while suffering from fever, diarrhoea, vomiting or any visible skin lesions.
- Be particularly careful with foods prepared for infants, the elderly, and the immune-compromised.
- Do not wash raw chicken before cooking.
How Can FCS Help?
We offer pathogen testing services that can test specifically for Salmonella enteritidis as well as a number of other pathogen species through our SANAS accredited lab.
We also have a hygiene audit division that can assist you in your hygiene and food safety requirements.