Possible listeriosis outbreak means well-done meat is on the menu

September 11, 2023
listeriosis

In light of recent findings revealing elevated levels of listeria pathogens in abattoirs and retail establishments across three provinces, experts are urging consumers to ensure their beef is thoroughly cooked.

Researcher Rebone Moerane from the University of Pretoria (UP) expressed confidence in the proactive measures being taken by producers and government authorities to address the situation.

Moerane explained the scope of their investigation, stating in an interview with eNCA, “We targeted three provinces, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and the North West. We wanted to see through the value chain, what is the prevalence of listeriosis and where are the risk factors.”

The preliminary results indicate significant challenges in abattoirs and a high-risk environment within retail establishments. Moerane stressed the need for immediate action and interventions in these areas, saying, “I’m confident that with these results already, the Department of Agriculture and the red meat industry are implementing measures to ensure that abattoirs properly clean their facilities and monitor to reduce the risk.”

He further emphasised, “Our biggest concern is more at the retailer’s level.”

Moerane encouraged consumers to prioritise food safety by cooking meat at high temperatures to effectively eliminate listeria bacteria. This precautionary step underscores the importance of public awareness and responsible food handling practices in safeguarding against potential health risks.

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Written by Bianca Muller.

Feature image: Pexels

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