On the 17th of March 2018, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) issued an alert on the outbreak of Listeriosis in South Africa, associated with ready to eat meat products imported to Nigeria.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has therefore issued this public health advisory note to members of the public.
Listeriosis is a food-borne disease transmitted by the bacterium, Listeria monoctytogenes.
The transmission of the disease is usually by consumption of contaminated foods especially unpaesturised milk, ready to eat meat products such as sausages and cheese, vegetables. Transmission is also possible from mother to fetus or from mother to child during birth.
The symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, and may also lead to nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.
Listerosis can be prevented. To do this, ensure safe and proper handling of food. Ensure that raw meat or fish is stored separately from other food items, wash your hands before and after handling food, rinse fresh fruits and vegetables before consumption, disinfect knives and other kitchen equipment used in preparing raw meat, chicken or fish.
It is important to ensure that food is stored safely- cold or hot as is appropriate. As the listeria bacteria can grow in refrigerator or freezer, ensure immediate cleanup of spills such as blood from raw meat or poultry.
The labels placed on food packaging provides information about when to use the food and how to store it. It is important to pay attention to this before consuming food.
Newborn infants, pregnant women and the elderly are susceptible to infection from Listera bacteria.
Listerosis can be treated effectively, if treatment is initiated early. It is important to visit a health facility if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. Health workers are advised to ensure
Retail stores in Nigeria are advised to adhere to the ban on importation of food products associated with the outbreak in South Africa.
NCDC toll-free number: 0800-970000-10