South Africa Says World's Worst Listeriosis Outbreak Has Ended

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa declared the end of its listeriosis outbreak, the world’s deadliest on record, and withdrew advice against eating ready-to-eat processed meat products.

The country has destroyed more than 5,800 metric tons of recalled meat since the beginning of March, when it linked the products to the outbreak and named a plant owned by Tiger Brands Ltd. as the source of the crisis. More than 200 people died from listeriosis between Jan. 1, 2017, and July 26 this year and 1,060 cases of the illness were identified, according to the National Institute for Communicable Disease.

No new cases caused by the outbreak strain have been identified since the first week of June and the total incidences have dropped to pre-outbreak levels, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said Monday. As a result, the outbreak has been declared over, he said.

It’s still unclear how the bacteria strain entered the affected factory, Motsoaledi said. The plant won’t restart production yet and an announcement will be made next month, the NICD said on Twitter.

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