Major retail shops in Malawi have begun removing South African processed meat products from their shelves following the Listeria outbreak, Capital FM spot checks have found.
This is in line with an order by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission-CFTC, that such products be withdrawn from the local market.
Listeria or Listeriosis is an infection caused by eating bacteria infected meat products, and induces symptoms including fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhoea.
The outbreak in South Africa, which the World health Organisation calls the worst so far, has killed close to 200 people and affected over 900.
Its source has been traced to a sausage meat company at Polokwane, which exports ready-to-eat meat products in the SADC region.
Capital FM’s Christy Gomani and Philip Banda visited some retail shops in Blantyre, where they have found the shelves cleared of all processed meat products imported from South Africa.
CFTC’s Executive Director, Wezi Charlotte Malonda said in a statement that the commission will soon start inspecting business premises to ensure that the products have indeed been withdrawn.
Speaking to Capital FM earlier, the spokesperson in the Ministry of Health Joshua Malango said the ministry has been aware of the surfacing of Listeria since last year.
He explained that the ministry has been working with various stakeholders to review the importation of food products into Malawi to prevent such an outbreak from occurring.