Uganda National Bureau of Standards’ has banned the importation of pre-packaged and ready-to-eat meat products from South Africa, following an outbreak of listeria linked to pre-packaged and ready-to-eat meat products from the country.
Listeria monocytogenes is the species of pathogenic bacteria that causes the infection listeriosis and has already killed 180 people in South Africa. It took South Africa more than a year to trace the outbreak.
UNBS’s Communications Officer, Mr Godwin Muhwezi speaking to Daily Monitor said: “We have already impounded about 65 kilogrammes of imported pre-cooked meat from one of the local supermarket chains in the country and gone ahead to ban all meat imports.”
In addition to that, UNBS is carrying out market surveillance inspections in supermarkets that are said to import meat from South Africa.
Muhwezi added: “We have also gone ahead to notify all the import inspection personnel at the border points to withhold consignments of all pre-packaged meat imports from South Africa until further notice.
Listeria is mainly found in ready-to-eat deli meats and hot dogs, refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads, unpasteurized (raw) milk and dairy products, soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk, and refrigerated smoked seafood in raw sprouts.
Once one consumes the infected meat with listeria, symptoms may begin a few days after, but it may take as long as 30 days or more before the first signs and symptoms of infection which include fever, muscle aches, nausea or diarrhoea, begin.