It’s been eight months since doctors at the Steve Biko Academic and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals reported unusually high numbers of babies with listeriosis to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases. After 180 confirmed deaths and 948 laboratory-confirmed case, the disease has been traced to the Enterprise Food Factory in Polokwane. The main culprit for spreading the diseases is polony.


AMCU warns members

In light of this news, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s (AMCU) National Health and Safety Officer, Matthew Grant, has warned members to be cautious.

“Listeriosis is a serious issue facing us at the moment. Finally, the Department of Health has traced the source of the outbreak and food retail department stores are beginning to recall items. We want to warn our members to take good care in preparing meat products – make sure they are cooked throughout and be careful in consuming processed (or ready-to-eat) meats like French (polony), viennas, Russians or chicken,” said Grant. The listeria bacteria on affected polony can also cross-contaminate other processed meat like viennas and cold meat,


Be informed

Grant also urged members to secure factual information regarding the current outbreak – including possible warning symptoms – and to heed advice from the Department of health. “All our members who have compromised immune systems are to take special care. Also, those who have family members who are infants or who are elderly, who are more prone to infections. Be wise in what you eat.”

In the meantime, the Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, has ordered all processed meat produced by Tiger Brands – a consumer food producer which Enterprise Food falls under – as well as its counterpart, RCL Foods, to be recalled.


Seek medical attention as soon as you experience any of these symptoms:

  • flu like illness with diarrhoea including fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness
  • infection of the blood stream which is called septicaemia
  • meningoencephalitis (infection of the brain).



5 March 2018 By Lesego Maja