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There is a Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa. It is the worst of its kind and has spread across the whole country, with over 800 confirmed cases being recorded.

HERE ARE SOME SIMPLE FACTS:

WHAT IS LISTERIOSIS?

  • Listeria is a bacteria found in soil, water and plants.
  • It can also occur in some animals, including poultry and cattle.
  • The bacteria can also be found in raw milk and foods made using raw milk.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

  • Listeriosis can be fatal if not treated.
  • People most at risk are pregnant women, babies, the old in age and people with weak immune systems.
  • Listeriosis causes severe food poisoning.

SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Wash your hands before and after handling food, and often during food preparation.

Use a disinfectant where meat and chicken products have been prepared.

Make sure all pots, dishes, cutlery, utensils and surfaces are clean.

Avoid unpasteurised milk and products made with unpasteurised milk.

Make sure meat, chicken, dairy products and fresh produce are stored at the correct temperature. Cook ingredients to at least 73.9˚C. REMEMBER LISTERIA HATES HEAT!

Make sure everything is cooked properly, especially meat, chicken, eggs and seafood.

Keep raw meat and chicken separate from other products in both storage and preparation.

Wash all vegetables and fruits under clean, running water. Remember to use water sparingly.

Processed meats should be boiled before being eaten.

Source: National Institute for Communicable Diseases