> 7 Steps to prevent Listeria in Food Facilities

7 Steps to prevent Listeria in Food Facilities

DAFF was under the spotlight at the recent media briefing in Pretoria today, as members of the press queried what role DAFF was playing in the current South African Listeria outbreak, and how the contaminated product relates back to the farmers.

Mr Mooketsa Ramasodi (Acting Director General for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) advised that DAFF has been actively involved and have issued a directive to provincial authorities to increase surveillance in facilities.

 

When asked how food processors and the agri sector can help address the spread of listeria, Ramasodi said that all stakeholders should be working towards eliminating these pathogens in their facilities, and he enumerated some steps towards this goal:

 

7 Steps to prevent Listeria in Food Facilities

  • Implementation of good manufacturing practices (GMPs), particularly relating to quality and food safety
  • Use of HACCP based systems which address critical control points
  • Personal hygiene in workers should be stressed, particularly handwashing
  • Thorough cleaning of premises is vital to eliminate potential bacteria
  • Use of proper cleaning products must be considered, as some cleaning products do not contain the right ingredients to effect proper cleaning
  • Use of good quality, clean packaging material is essential, to prevent contamination of the product being packaged, and also to prevent the risk of tearing and potential cross-contamination in distribution centres.
  • Observe the cold chain very strictly – frozen products must not be allowed to thaw and refreeze.

 

Ramasodi also advised that manure is a potential source of contamination, when used on the farms over crops.  He stressed that all food should be washed properly due to the potential contamination at soil level. This is where the consumer has a role to play.