The Public Health Authority in Seychelles has imposed a temporary ban on all ready-to-eat meat products imported from South Africa due to an outbreak of listeria which was declared in the African country earlier this year.
Seychelles News Agency quoted a communiqué from the health authority as saying that the action follows confirmation from the Ministry of Health in South Africa that the source of listeria contamination and outbreak is in processed meat.
The ban removes all processed meat — namely polonies, hams and pre-cooked sausages — from the local market. Importers of processed meat have been formally informed of the ban.
The public health commissioner, Jude Gedeon, said that in line with food safety, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends following a set of guidelines for safer food.
WHO called the outbreak of listeria the largest ever recorded globally, after 948 cases have been reported since January 2017.
Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. It causes flu-like symptoms, nausea, diarrhoea and infection of the bloodstream and brain and is said to affect mostly pregnant woman and their newborn as well as people with a weak immune system.
Gedeon said that most of the measures are practical and includes washing your hand and the surface of food before preparation.
“Cooked and raw food should be separated properly and food should be cooked thoroughly as all bacteria are killed above 70 degrees Celsius,” added Gedeon.
The ban will remain in force until further notice is given by the Seychelles Public Health Authority.
Photo credit: (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)