YCLSA statement on Listeria Outbreak
The YCLSA notes with sadness and deep concern the outbreak of Listeria in our country. The YCLSA observed the limited attention given to the disease since the outbreak mid-last year and the little initiative taken to educate the people, particularly in the rural areas, on the listeria outbreak.
Listeriosis is a serious bacterial disease caused by the Gram-positive, rod shaped bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes and the bacterium is widely distributed in nature andcan be found in soil, water andContaminated food. Since its outbreak, close to 1000 cases have been reported of which 180 people have died.
Listeria may cause the following conditions to a person:
Flu like illness with diarrhoea including fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness.
Infection of the blood stream which is called septiceamia.
Meningoencephalitis (infection of the brain)
Individuals at high risk of developing severe disease include newborns, the elderly, pregnant women, persons with weak immunity such as HIV, diabetes, cancer, chronic liver or kidney disease. Therefore we call on South Africans, especially those whom are at risk; mainly elders, pregnant women and immuno compromised persons to avoid eating ready to eat products such assausages and cold meat.
We appreciate and commend the work that Minister Motsoaledi and the department of Health has done to pay attention to this disease and keeping the nation informed,and most importantly by being able to identify the source of this outbreak which isin Polokwane and Germiston. MinisterMotsoaledi confirmed that more than 16 environmental samples from the Enterprise factory in Polokwane tested positive for listeriosis.
The YCLSA is fully aware on how this recklessness of food producers will affect the working class, in particular those who relies on these products for a living.Therefore, we demand that consumers be allowed to return these products and get their refunds.
We call on government and relevant stakeholders to take proper legal action against Tiger Brands and others, whom their recklessness resulted in the loss of 180 lives,mostly the working class who relies on such products for sustainability.
Cde Mluleki Dlelanga is the YCLSA National Secretary.