Latest update 09 April 2018 on the outbreak in SA.

South Africa is experiencing a serious outbreak of listeriosis, a severe disease caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.  This is a foodborne pathogen, meaning that it is transmitted via contaminated food when eaten.  Click here for Frequently Asked Questions. Click here for the full communique by Anelich Consulting.

The latest update from the NICD is that there are now 999 confirmed cases and 191 deaths (550 cases and 36 deaths on 5 December 2017). Neonates remain the most affected.  Dr Anelich's scientific opinion expressed on 05 January 2018 is that this is "the worst documented listeriosis outbreak in global history". The majority of clinical isolates belong to the same sequence type i.e. ST6.  

The Minister of Health announced on 04 March 2018 that according to the Dept of Health, the source had been identified as polony made by two different companies.  Whilst RCL Foods were cleared regarding the st6 strain, the other brand i.e. Enterprise showed presence of the st6 strain in its facilities, according to the NICD.  Massive recalls have been conducted across the country and in neighbouring countries which imported those products from South Africa.  It is estimated that 4000 tons of food has been recalled.  The recall was wider than just polony. It included many other products produced by Enterprise as a pre-caution.