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WINDHOEK-- Namibia has suspended the importing of all processed meat products from South Africa following an outbreak of Listeriosis in that neighbouring country blamed on contaminated food produced by two leading food processing companies.

A media statement issued here Monday by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry said it had notified importers about the suspension of imports and in transit movement of ready-to-eat food from South Africa.

The banned food includes polony, frankfurters, viennas, all types of hams and salami produced by Rainbow Chickens Limited and Enterprise Food and their subsidiaries.

Ready-to-eat processed meat products from the two companies have been identified as sources of the deadly listeriosis outbreak in South Africa where more than 180 lives have been lost.

"All import permits and in-transit permits issued prior to the public notification are hereby cancelled and recalled. Retailers who might have imported these types of products from the branches are strongly advised to remove them from the shelves," Chief Veterinary Officer in the Directorate of Veterinary Services Adrianatus Maseke said in the statement.

It added that listeriosis food poisoning is caused by eating foods contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, adding that the disease can be severe in pregnant women, young children and the elderly. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhoea, headache, stiff neck, confusion and loss of balance.


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