Listeria death toll rises to 204

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The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed that the death toll from the listeria outbreak has risen to 204.

The NICD said that despite the fact that the death toll has increased, the number of new cases has declined after all meat products from Enterprise were recalled.

The number of cases that were reported to the NCID has risen to 1 033.

Health Minister Arron Motsoaledi said: “Since the recall, we have had less than five cases a week in the past five weeks compared to 40 a week before the recall.”

Listeriosis is caused by bacteria in soil, water, and vegetation. Newborn babies, pregnant women, and the elderly are vulnerable to the illness.

The Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture said in a statement that since the recall of “polony” products, “the number of cases of listeria has declined drastically”.

“Risk profiling of food processing premises is underway and preparations have been made for a programme of inspections and laboratory testing of high-risk processing facilities of food that may be at risk for Listeria contamination.”

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