In terms of the Department of Health’s current closure of Sovereign Foods’ Tshwane abattoir due to the disputed and legally challenged detection of the listeria pathogen, the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) regards the consumer’s health as the primary concern.
Listeriosis is an infection that usually develops after eating food that’s been contaminated by listeria bacteria.
In a statement issued on Friday, SAPA said it had therefore engaged the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), and would also approach the health department, to jointly determine a co-ordinated and sustainable sample and test protocol, inclusive of using agreed and accredited laboratories, in order to do produce credible and repeatable results.
“South African producers maintain world class abattoir standards, and support increased government testing based on a scientific methodology. While Sovereign Foods is not a member of SAPA, it remains in dialogue with SAPA on the matter,” the SAPA statement read.
“SAPA further feels, significantly in the interest of the poorest consumers, that testing be stepped up not only on locally produced chicken, but also on imported frozen chicken that is thawed, handled, sold as ‘loose serve’ and also when re-packed locally.”