Singapore has not imported meat from factory behind South Africa listeria outbreak: AVA

Shoppers at the meat section of the FairPrice Xtra supermarket at NEX on March 23, 2017.
Shoppers at the meat section of the FairPrice Xtra supermarket at NEX on March 23, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Republic has not imported any meat or meat products from a South African factory behind the world's worst-ever listeria outbreak, it was confirmed on Wednesday (March 7).

There have been 948 cases of the bacterial disease reported and at least 180 deaths since the outbreak began in South Africa in January last year.

It took the authorities there more than a year to trace the outbreak, which the government linked to the factory last week.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Wednesday: "The implicated South African establishment in Limpopo is not an approved source.

"Our records show that there has been no import of meat and meat products from the implicated South African establishment."

The factory, in the northern Limpopo province, belongs to Enterprise Foods, which is owned by South African food giant Tiger Brands.

Listeria causes flu-like symptoms, nausea, diarrhoea, infection of the blood stream and brain.

 

Listeria bacteria are found in the environment, and can contaminate raw or ready-to-eat food and fresh produce.

 

On Monday, four countries in southern Africa took steps against the factory.

Mozambique and Namibia announced they were suspending imports of the products immediately.

Botswana said it was recalling the items "with immediate effect", while Zambia called on South African retail chains in its country to pull the incriminated goods from their shelves.