The health department's spokesperson Foster Mohale said consumers had to be cautious in how they dispose of their processed cold meat products as they could cause a further outbreak. Picture: Pixabay

Johannesburg - Consumers should return their purchased processed cold meats to the store or burn them for health precautions to avoid the further spreading of Listeriosis.

The health department's spokesperson Foster Mohale said consumers had to be cautious in how they dispose of their processed cold meat products as they could cause a further outbreak. 
 
"They should return their food products to the stores where they bought them or they should burn them. We cannot risk people who search in dustbins for food being the victim of the disease," said Mohale. 
 
The outbreak of listeria has killed 180 people so far. 

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On Sunday the health department announced that the source of the Listeriosis had been traced to Enterprise Foods, a company owned by Tiger Brands. Another source of the outbreak has been traced to Rainbow Chicken food products. 
 
It took the department and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICDD) six months to trace the origins of the outbreak.
 
Cold meats include much loved products such as; viennas, russians and polony - which has been singled out as the source of the outbreak. 
 
Cross-contamination is a serious concern for the department, and that is why consumers have been cautioned against all cold meat products. 
 
People who are at high risk on for Listeriosis:
 
* Pregnant women 
* Neonates (first 28 days) 
* Very young infants 
* Elderly people (ages 65 and older) 
* Anyone with a weakened immune system (due to HIV, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease)
 
The health department sent letters to the implicated companies calling on them to immediately recall their food products.
 
Retailers such as a Woolworths, Checkers, Shoprite and Pick n Pay have announced that consumers could return their cold meat products to their stores to received refunds.

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