By Gadiosa Lamtey
Dar es Salaam — Tanzania has formally lifted the ban on imports of meat and its products from South Africa. The Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) decided to prohibit importation of meat and its products three months ago following an outbreak of listeriosis epidemic in the economically powerful southern Africa nation.
However, in a statement, the TFDA said three factories, which produced products that triggered the outbreak of the disease Enterprises Food Polokwane (ZA 33), Enterprise Foods Germiston (ZA 126) and RCL Foods Consumer-Chicken (ZA 32)–will not be allowed to export their products to Tanzania.
The TFDA statement says that the inspection, which has been carried out, showed that the products that triggered the outbreak of the epidemic did not enter the Tanzanian market.
“TFDA has received reports from South Africa about measures taken by their regulatory authorities in response to the epidemic and assured us of safety of the meat and its products,” read part of the statement
Following the March 7 ban, the authority conducted inspections in the market to ensure that the products were not released for human consumption.
However, the inspected products did not show any sign of bacteria that cause the disease.
Listeriosis is a bacterial infection, which can cause severe illness, including severe sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis, sometimes resulting in lifelong harm and even death.
Those at risk of severe illness are the elderly, unborn babies, newborns and those who are immunocompromised.
In pregnant women it may cause stillbirth or spontaneous abortion, and preterm birth is common. Listeriosis may cause mild, self-limiting gastroenteritis and fever in anyone.