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African countries ban meat imports from South Africa
March 6, 2018, 9:11 am

Malawi has become the latest in African countries which have banned processed meat products imported from South Africa after the South African Department of Health confirmed hundreds of listeria bacteria cases in the country were to meat products.

The meat export industry is a major cash cow for South Africa [Xinhua]

Earlier in the week, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia banned the import of meat products from South Africa and called on retailers to remove and destroy any such meats immediately.

Last week, South Africa reported at least 180 deaths due to the listeria outbreak, which the World Health Organization said was the largest in the world.

More than 1,000 cases have been reported in the past two weeks. The government says the infected meats come from a product called polony, made by Tiger Brands.

Tiger Brands, and another company, RCL, suspend production of the meat products as the government ordered a recall.

But Lawrence MacDougall, Chief Executive of Tiger Brands, refused to take the blame for the deaths and said there was no link between the meats and the deaths.

He added that his company was conducting an investigation of its own with experts to determine what caused the fatalities.

Listeriosis is a serious, but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium, listeria monocytogenes, which can be found in soil, water and vegetation. Animal products and fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables can be contaminated from these sources.

Symptoms from the food-borne disease include diarrhea, fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness.

Pregnant women and the elderly are at higher risk.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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