Zambia banned imports of South African processed meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruit.
The fact that the listeria bacteria was present in the meat plants that had now been shut down implied that they did not take effective measures to monitor the processes when the outbreak was made public months ago, according to Marie van der Merwe, acting chairperson of the South African National Consumer Union (SANCU).
He advised fellow countrymen to avoid any processed meat products that are ready to eat such as a popular sausage known as polony and Russians. A total of 180 people have died as a result of eating these products.
Since January 2017, 948 people have contracted listeriosis which is caused by bacteria from soil, water, vegetation and animal feces which can contaminate fresh food - notably fresh meat. He announced the source of the outbreak as the Enterprise Food plant about 300 kilometers (185 miles) northeast of Pretoria.
"Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from over 30 percent of the environmental samples collected from this site, which happens to be the Enterprise factory in Polokwane", Motsoaledi said.
South African Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi said traceback investigations linked the pathogen to polony made at a food production facility in the city of Polokwane.
The company was also recalling all its polony brands.
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Here is what some the large supermarket chains said regarding Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken products.
We have removed all Enterprise processed cold meats and Rainbow chicken polony from our fridges and deli's and returned...
The company has nevertheless recalled all exported products and says it has taken immediate action and corrective steps to address the listeriosis outbreak.
Media in South Africa reported that hundreds of customers had flocked the factories and stores suspected of being the source of the listeriosis infection, returning goods they had already purchased and demanding refunds. "This testing includes for listeria".
Parent company Tiger Brands has responded, saying it has not been provided with any evidence to show there is a direct link between the listeriosis deaths and the company's products.