According to the most recent update from NICD, the source of the outbreak continues to be identified as ready-to-eat processed meat products manufactured at Enterprise Foods’ Polokwane production facility. A recall of affected products was initiated on 04 March 2018.
Because of the recall the number of cases of listeriosis diagnosed each week has decreased, with three additional cases reported since the last situation report. In total, 1,027 cases have been reported from 01 January 2017 to 02 May 2018, with 58 cases reported for the 8-week period since 5 March 2018. During the eight weeks prior to 5 March 2018, 200 cases of listeria were reported.
1,027 cases have been reported from 01 January 2017 to 02 May 2018. The number of reported cases has decreased since the implicated products were recalled on 04 March 2018 (Figure 1). Neonates ≤28 days of age are the most affected age group, followed by adults aged 15 – 49 years of age (Figure 2). Most cases have been reported from Gauteng Province (59%, 603/1 027), followed by Western Cape (13%, 128/1 027) and KwaZulu- Natal (7%, 74/1 027) provinces (Table 1). There have been 201 deaths.
Following a recall of implicated products, the number of cases went down. However, it is anticipated that cases could still be reported for the following reasons:
1. The incubation period of listeriosis can be up to 70 days.
2. The implicated products have a long shelf life and it is possibly that despite the recall some products have not been removed from retail or consumer’s homes.
3. Cross-contamination at retail and in the home can occur.