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Food poison alert!

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has issued a high alert to citizens on food poisoning following the outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa.

Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning caused by eating foods contaminated with listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is the species of bacteria that causes the infection listeriosis.

The bacteria are capable of surviving in the presence or absence of oxygen.

It can grow and reproduce inside the host’s cells and is one of the most virulent food borne pathogens, with 20 to 30 percent of food borne listeriosis infections in high-risk individuals may be fatal.

The bacteria affect some meat and dairy products, fruits and vegetables and are transferred to humans when consumed.

Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness.

Listeriosis can be prevented through personal hygiene, separating raw food from cooked food, keeping food under safe temperature and by using safe drinking water and pasteurised milk products.

The alert disclosed that the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) was monitoring the situation and had increased surveillance on meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables from South Africa to ensure that they are not contaminated.

“All officers at the various ports of entry have been tasked to be more vigilant and inspections have been intensified,” the alert, signed by Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu noted.

Mr Agyeman-Manu assured Ghanaians that there is no cause for alarm and “we shall continue to monitor, investigate and assess the quality of plant and animal products coming from South Africa.”

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