Botswana is closely monitoring developments and has already implemented precautions following the world’s worst listeria outbreak affecting cold meat products from South Africa which has killed around 180 people in the past year.
“The withdrawal of products from the shelves of Botswana supermarkets began simultaneously as the South African supermarkets began removing the infected meat products from their shelves,” Abia Sebaka, Botswana’s Chief Health Officer for Nutrition and Food Safety, told the African News Agency (ANA) on Tuesday from Gaborone.
“But we began taking precautions as early as the end of last year after being in close communication with the South African authorities,” said Sebaka. “We started issuing warnings to the public in Botswana about infected meat products as well as safety precaution guidelines.”
Enterprise, a subsidiary of South African company Tiger Brands, has been fingered as the source of a deadly listeriosis outbreak although the company on Monday denied there was any direct link between the Listeriosis deaths and its products.
Sebaka added that there had also been close coordination with the South African authorities through the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We are waiting for further confirmation of the latest updates and facts from South Africa before we consider further action,” Sebaka told ANA.