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Alarm bells sound over possible listeriosis outbreak


JOHANNESBURG - Scientists are urging consumers to cook beef till it's well-done.

It follows the discovery of high levels of listeria pathogens in abattoirs and retailers in at least three provinces.

UP researcher Rebone Moerane is confident producers and government are already remedying the situation.

"We targeted three provinces, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the North West. We wanted to see through the value chain, what is the prevalence of listeriosis and where are the risk factors," Moerane said.

"Our results so far are indicating some serious challenges with regards to abattoirs and highly at retailers, that's where we need to take action and interventions.

"I'm confident that with these results already, the Department of Agriculture and the red meat industry are implementing measures to ensure that abattoirs properly clean the facilities  and monitor to ensure they reduce the risk," he said.

"Our biggest concern is more at retailers levels."

Moerane encouraged consumers to thoroughly cook meat at high temperatures to kill listeria bacteria.

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