The largest ever detected Listeria outbreak in known history is over, according to officials in South Africa.
Between Jan. 1, 2017, and July 17, 2018, South Africa recorded 1,060 laboratory-confirmed cases of listeriosis, including 216 deaths.
The outbreak was linked to a ready-to-eat (RTE) processed meat plant owned by Tiger Brands, the Enterprise Foods production facility in Polokwane. However, investigators for the government and in the private sector have not been able to determine how the outbreak strain was introduced in the affected factory.
A total of 12 million South African rand ($810,000) was spent to deal with the outbreak.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi gave processed meats the all clear at a media briefing on Monday.
“A team of World Health Organization, international and local experts (have) agreed that because no cases of listeriosis due to the outbreak strain have been identified since the first week of June 2018, and that over the last two months the incidence rate of laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases has dropped to pre-outbreak levels, the outbreak of listeriosis is over,” Motsoaledi said
Listeriosis cases have been recorded for 40 years in South Africa. There have been between 60 and 80 cases every year for the past five years.