Strains of Listeria found at Johannesburg food outlet

Johannesburg – The City of Johannesburg has uncovered a food outlet that contains strains of Listeria, member of the mayoral committee Dr Mpho Phalatse said on Friday.

Phalatse, who is part of the health and social development portfolio, said environmental health practitioners in the city made the discovery earlier in the day.

Phalatse said samples were taken to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases for "confirmatory testing".

She called on residents not to panic but to "remain vigilant and adhere to food safety guidelines".

"We are awaiting lab confirmation of whether or not this is a disease-causing strain of the organism.  We should have results in the next 24 to 48 hours."

Strategic advisor in the office of the MMC Dominic Mahlangu told News24 the City was not naming the business to avoid panic.

"Steps are being taken to sterilise the area. We do not want the business to suffer serious damage and we do not want to spread panic."

He said the business was not closed but that "cautionary measures" were put in place.

"Until we get final lab results, we can't close them down."

Phalatse called on residents to continue adhering to food safety guidelines.

"Report to their nearest clinic if they start experiencing symptoms associated with the disease, especially pregnant women, babies below the age of 28 days, senior citizens above the age of 65 and immunocompromised patients."

Symptoms include:
•    Fever
•    Stiff neck
•    Confusion
•    General weakness
•    Vomiting (sometimes preceded by diarrhoea)

READ: What you should know about the deadly Listeriosis outbreak

There are 17 strains of the organism, but not all of them are disease-causing.

The major human pathogen in the Listeria genus is L. monocytogenes. It is usually the causative agent of the relatively rare bacterial disease Listeriosis, a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria.

As of this week, a total of 764 Listeriosis cases have been reported across the country. The City of Joburg has reported 212 cases and 19 deaths so far.

Phalatse said she will support Mayor Herman Mashaba in bringing order to all sectors of society in the city, including those who supply and handle food.

She said her department will continue with public awareness campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of Listeriosis.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
How do you feel about the impending replacement of the Eskom board?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Finally, time for Eskom's new dawn!
4% - 90 votes
It’ll be new faces, same problems
48% - 960 votes
Great - as long as they keep CEO André de Ruyter
48% - 968 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.