Following news of the Listeria outbreak the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa is calling on consumers and businesses to dispose of their food that may be contaminated with the fatal bacterium in the correct manner.This comes after Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health, announced that notices of safe recall had been issued to Enterprise Foods in Polokwane and Rainbow Chicken Limited in Sasolburg due to traces of Listeria being found at these production facilities, the announcement has caused further public concern and outcry since Sunday. According to Prof Suzan Oelofse, past-president of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), the institute finds it encouraging to see that brands are being transparent and putting their consumers’ health first.
Protecting waste pickers“The fact that certain cold meats may contain Listeria bacteria means that these food products are condemned and should therefore, be classified as infectious waste to be disposed of responsibly. Simply discarding the food in the waste bin will not solve the problem, as waste pickers could go through the bags and bins to recover this waste before it is collected and transported to the landfill site. Landfill waste pickers, who recover recyclable material from landfill are also at risk,” she notes.
The correct method to dispose of infectious food is to return it to the store or manufacturer from which it was purchased for responsible disposal through thermal treatment or lime treated trenching at licenced engineered landfills.