Voice of the Cape

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Declare state of emergency over listeriosis outbreak, urges EFF

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The EFF is demanding that President Cyril Ramaphosa declare a state of emergency to deal with the listeriosis outbreak that has claimed more than 180 lives.

The party has recommended wide-ranging measures, including ensuring that all food processing plants are tested to ensure they are free of the food-borne disease.

“Listeriosis is threatening the most fundamental human right; which is the right to life,” maintained spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

The disease was traced to Tiger Brands’ Enterprise factories in Polokwane and Germiston and a Rainbow Chicken facility in the Free State.

On Monday Tiger Brands announced that “low levels” of listeria had been detected at its plant in Pretoria.

The outbreak sparked a nationwide recall of certain meat products produced by the companies, and several countries have since banned the products in their countries.

‘Listeriosis clearance certificates’

Ndlozi said in a statement on Thursday that all food-processing plants should be subjected to “radical examinations” to ensure that none are linked to the spread of the virus.

He added that new bylaws should be imposed on all retail stores to ensure they get listeriosis clearance certificates before they stock any processed meat to sell to consumers.

“If such steps are not taken with immediate effect, we risk losing more lives because we want to tiptoe over business arrogance,” Ndlozi said.

“Companies that refuse radical scrutiny must be shut down until they comply with all requirements.”

A total of 967 listeriosis cases have been reported since 2017.

Tiger Brands is facing a class action suit, expected to be precedent setting.


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