Listeriosis food to be treated, burnt

Food contaminated with listeriosis will be treated via autoclave. File photo
Food contaminated with listeriosis will be treated via autoclave. File photo
Image: Picture: Alaister Russell

Compass Medical Waste Services has been approved to treat and dispose of food contaminated with listeriosis via autoclave.

Last month the Department of Health announced that ready-to-eat processed meat products manufactured at Enterprise Foods’ Polokwane production facility were the source of the listeriosis outbreak in the country.

Consumers were asked to return these products to shops for a refund and for safe disposal.

Compass operations director Graham du Randt said yesterday their facility at Berlin, outside East London, would not receive the bulk of the contaminated food.

“The manufacturers have decided to use incineration in the first instance but as the incinerator capacity reduces we are expecting to receive some of this waste,” he said.

There are no licensed waste incinerators in the Eastern Cape.
Du Randt said that Listeria bacteria was destroyed through the application of temperatures between 65°C and 75°C.

Bondtech autoclaves, of which Compass owns eight, reach between 140°C and 150°C during the treatment lifecycle.

Thereafter the treated food waste would be shredded and taken to a permitted landfill, Du Randt said.

“We believe treatment before landfilling is essential to safeguard the health and safety of the public.”

According to the latest report issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, 37 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported since the recall on March 4 this year.

The NICD said the number of laboratory-confirmed cases per week had been declining since the recall.