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African press review 5 March 2018


South Africa recalls ready-to-eat products following a lysteria outbreak. Questions about food quality in Nairobi's fast-food cafés and hundreds are feared dead in communal violence rocking Nigeria's Taraba State.

We begin in South Africa where the papers are all about a rush by supermarkets to pull foods implicated in a Listeriosis outbreak which has claimed 160 lives.

BusinessDay underlines that a plant belonging to a subsidiary of Tiger Brands in Polokwane in Limpopo Province had been confirmed as the source of the bacteria.

Mail and Guardian quotes Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi as saying at a press conference on Sunday that at least 16 samples of food products collected from that plant tested positive for the ST6 strain.

The symptoms of Listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, diarrhoeia, meningitis, convulsions and death in severe cases, with pregnant women, newborns, and people with weakened immune systems listed among the most likely victims.

Times Live reports that making the South African strain the world’s biggest documented Listeriosis outbreak‚ with 948 confirmed cases.

According to the paper, food manufacturers specialized in ready-to-eat meat products such as sausages and chicken, have started recalling food items classified as affected by the germ, offering their customers full refunds.

Several publications carry a message from the National Consumer Commission urging consumers who’ve bought the products to “quarantine” them in order to avoid cross-contamination‚ before returning them to the store for a refund.

In Kenya, Daily Nation warns that the chicken served at some popular fast food cafes in Nairobi could be laced with a toxic cocktail of bacteria and in some cases, chemicals that could cause cancer.

The paper says that tests it commissioned on ready-to-eat chicken found out that some were contaminated with E.coli, salmonella, staphylococcus, and coliforms.

According to the Nation, while proper cooking and handling should eliminate most of these bacteria, these cases point to shocking laxity in public health standards at the sampled fast food cafes.

The paper warns that milk, fruits and vegetables are also compromised, leaving Kenyans with limited options for safe foods and contributing to a growing disease-burden that continues to clog health facilities and derail economic development.

And in Nigeria, This Day report from the flashpoint of communal violence in the northern Taraba State where residents and Fulani herdsmen have been clashing for 5 days over farming and grazing land.

The paper says that while there have been not official count of casualties, the death toll which stood at about 40 on Thursday may have gone into hundreds. According to ThisDay, the crisis which erupted Thursday evening at Nguroje village in Sarduana local vovernment Area, has spread to several villages and town across Taraba State.

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