News 07 Mar, 2018

Listeriosis Outbreak in South Africa

A unique strain of listeria has caused the world’s largest documented listeriosis outbreak, with over 550 cases reported since the start of 2017. The condition affects pregnant women or those with weaker immune systems.

Processed meats, such as polony and sausages, from local food manufacturer Enterprise Foods are believed to have caused around 90% of the cases of illness in the outbreak. Listeria can continue to multiply in uncooked food kept in the fridge. It is recommended that crew check whether Enterprise ready-to-eat meat products such as polony and Russians/Vienna and Rainbow Chicken polony have been supplied locally. 

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) recommends to use diluted bleach to clean areas where the meat products may have been kept. Local ship chandlers should be able to provide clear laboratory tests for other cold meats that are sourced locally.

We are grateful to the Club’s local correspondents in South Africa P&I Associates for advice on this outbreak. More details can be found in their advisory here: Loss Prevention: Listeriosis Outbreak - P&I Associates