Johannesburg - “Kota e buletjwe”.
With these words, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi finally declared kota safe to eat again after many South Africans stayed away from it following the listeriosis outbreak a few months ago.
He said no new cases of the disease had been reported in three months.
When the listeriosis outbreak started, the government cautioned people from eating processed food like polonies, russians and cheese. Now, Motsoaledi has given the go-ahead to eat them.
“Kotas are not good for you but you can eat them,” he laughed.
Polonies, russians and cheese are the main ingredients in kotas. While the outbreak has been contained, the source has still not been found. The Polokwane Enterprise factory and a Rainbow Chicken factory were found to be sources of the outbreak.
“We were lucky to find out that it was from Enterprise in Polokwane but we have not been able to find the source. Government and private investigators have not been able to say what the source is,” Motsoaledi said.
He said 900 health inspectors were retrained and they inspected 157 factories. The listeria strand was not found at the factories and R12 million has been spent on the response to the outbreak.
The Polokwane Enterprise factory is no longer allowed to produce meat while the Rainbow Chicken factory, as well as Enterprise in Germiston, have been provisionally allowed to produce food.