Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced the outbreak of Listeriosis about a month ago.
So far the death toll from the disease stands at 61, while 727 have been confirmed cases nationwide.
According to Motsoaledi Listeriosis is a disease that is caused by consuming food that is contaminated with the bacterium called listeria monocytogenes.
This bacteria is found in the soil, water, vegetation and in the feces of quite a number of animals ... and this bacteria can contaminate food from these sources.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
Motsoaledi says after putting together a Multisectorial National Outbreak Response Team (MNORT), the department traced the disease to an abattoir in Pretoria after a listeriosis patient was found with some of its meat.
However, he says they cannot at the moment conclude that the slaughterhouse is the source of the current outbreak.
The final result was that we cannot link that abattoir to the present outbreak for the simple reason that we can't link it scientifically to the outbreak.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
Motsoaledi explains that their research has shown that the disease is caused by Monocytogenes Subtypes Number 6, which was found in about 91% of all the samples.
When research was done in various food production sites, it was discovered that there are 18 other Subtypes and none of them is Subtype Number 6, he says.
We have concluded that Subtype Number 6 is the one that drives this particular outbreak but we cant link the food and the surfaces we have tested in various food production sites, including the abattoir in Pretoria.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
To hear more of an update of Listeria outbreak by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, listen below: