Measures to deal with the disposal of food products contaminated with listeriosis have been put in place.
Environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa assured South Africans that all contaminated waste will be safely disposed of.
This comes after health minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced that the source of listeriosis had been traced to ready-to-eat processed meat products from Enterprise Foods.
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Meat products such as polony, viennas, russians, frankfurters, sausages and cold meat products were listed as no-go zones by Motsoaledi.
Molewa expressed concern that the recall could have caused panic, with residents dumping food products into normal domestic waste bins, leading to contaminated foodstuffs ending up in municipal landfills.
She said that this could have happened before the announcements from outlets that food products could be brought into the various outlets across the country.
“As we know, with the high levels of waste-picking in the country, we could have waste pickers accessing the contaminated food,” said Molewa.
The measures taken by the department of environmental affairs would ensure that there was enough capacity in the country to dispose of the infected waste.
It would also eliminate the possibility of the infected waste being accessed through waste-picking activities.
“I believe the measures we have taken will ensure that the constitutional right of our people to a safe and healthy environment is protected,” Molewa said.
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