Namibia records its first fatal case of Listeriosis

NAMIBIA- Namibia has reported its first case of Listeriosis, a food safety concern that has swept across almost the entire meat industry chain in the neighboring South Africa.

Namibia’s Health Minister, Bernard Haufiku gave the announcement to Namibia’s parliament saying that the victim was a 41-year-old man who succumbed to death after being hospitalized at Windhoek, the country’s capital.

The victim is said to have contacted the disease from a potentially contaminated sausage he bought from a butcher’s shop in Tsumeb, north of the capital.

“We were already prepared as a country when we heard there was a break out in South Africa,” the minister said.

Namibia joined other South African neighbours such as Mozambique, Botswana to suspend meat imports from South Africa.

Since the outbreak of the fatal disease, 180 people are said to have perished and a 948 people having contracted the disease since January 2017.

This comes even after Tiger Brand’s shares fell by more than 5% in early trade in March.

The brand is said to be bracing for class action lawsuit put forward by a team comprising of Richard Spoor and Seattle-based firm Marler Clark.

Earlier, Tiger brands said that a department of health report had confirmed the presence of the LST6 listeria strain its factory in the northern city of Polokwane and it was appointing a team to identify the causes.

This sounds bad news to the meat producer since Enterprise-branded products accounted for 28.2% of processed meat sales in South Africa in 2017, with its local market worth 6.02 billion rand (US$500 million) last year alone.

Following the announcement by the minister of health implicating Tiger Brands’ Enterprise Foods to the scandal, the entire red meat industry has been obliged to deal with devastating consequences and a catastrophic impact that has weighed heavily on sales and shares.

In Zambia, the High Commissioner to Pretoria Emmanuel Mwamba called on South African supermarket chains operating in his country to also recall ready-to-eat meat as a precaution.

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