A listeriosis product recall has been implemented following an announcement by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Sunday that the source of the present outbreak was an Enterprise facility in Polokwane.
Two national food manufacturers and distributors have been ordered by the South African government to start a listeriosis product recall of all affected foods that have tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes ST6. This is the strain named as responsible for the current outbreak. Enterprise foods makes polony, viennas, sandwich hams and other ready to eat products. These are notorious foods that support the growth of Listeriosis-causing bacteria.
Two of their factories (one in Polokwane) were investigated by the Dept of Environmental Health and samples tested for Listeria monocytogenes. These were genotyped and confirmed positive for ST6. A second company has been named, but has not yet been confirmed.
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said retailers must clean their fridges, meat slicers, and either remove the ready-to-eat meat products or place them in plastic bags in separate fridges – ahead of the recall.
We at FCS support this recommendation and urge all our clients to take note of the product recall. We also recommend that a deep cleaning of the kitchen, cold rooms, fridges and high-risk equipment take place. Take special care to clean and sanitise all areas that may have come into contact with these foods.
The outbreak may not be over despite the source being found, as L.monocytogenes is a persistent bacteria and can easily spread throughout the kitchen through cross-contamination.
We are also able to assist you in environmental swabbing and food testing to help you ensure that areas have been cleared of any potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination.
What must you do to ensure that you comply with the recall and keep your customers safe?
- Remove all the above affected ready to eat processed meats from your fridges. As per the above notices and communication from the suppliers, please return ALL Enterprise branded ready to eat cold processed meats, as well as Rainbow Polony. Put all the foods in a dustbin bag, close the dustbin bag and segregate them from any other foods. Give them to your supplier as soon as possible for return. As soon as a recall list is made available by the manufactures, we will let our clients know.
- Empty any fridges where these products have been stored and thoroughly clean and sanitise the entire fridge. Use a chlorine based sanitiser and spray all areas after cleaning.
- Any containers, cutting boards and knives that have come into contact with the affected products must be washed in a hot wash water with detergent, rinsed and spayed with a sanitiser. A Chorine based sanitiser is preferred. You can also soak these in a suitably diluted chorine sanitiser solution.
- Remember to scrub the cutting boards with a nylon bristled brush and concentrated detergent before you sanitise them.
- Any slicers or such equipment must be fully dismantled. Take every nut and bolt off and fully dismantle every part of the slicer/ equipment. Each and every part of the equipment must be washed it in a hot detergent solution, after which, they must be soaked in a chlorine sanitiser. Please make sure to clean all hard to reach areas. Spray the entire slicer/ equipment with a chlorine sanitiser and leave it to dry. Rinse all parts with fresh clean water before reuse.
- Open up all your drains and thoroughly clean out and sanitise all your drains.
- Please make sure that all staff cleaning and or handling these foods wash and sanitise their hands after these tasks have been completed.
- As per previous communications, please make sure that you follow your FCS hygiene report’s specifications and focus any critical and major problems detected in previous reports.
Please note that other suppliers of ready to eat processed meat products have not been implicated. There is no proof that other manufacturers have a Listeria problem and their products can be deemed as safe to consume.