JOHANNESBURG: The department of Basic Education has assured parents, learners and the members of each community that there are no processed meat products used as part of the National School Nutrition Programme.
In a statement, the department has revealed that no processed meat is used in their nutritional programme, following an announcement made yesterday by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi regarding the source of a deadly listeriosis outbreak.
It is believed that the source of the outbreak was found to be processed meat products such as polony, vienna sausages and other processed cold meat products often consumed by children.
The statement revealed that, “The food served to over nine million learners daily as part of the NSNP is safe and excludes these types of meat products”.
“However we would like parents and the greater school community to remain vigilant as these food items often form part of packed lunches or are sold to learners by external food vendors outside of schools or at tuckshops”.
Till date, it has been confirmed that the number of cases reported regarding Listeriosis has risen to 948 since the beginning of the year, to whom 180 have died and 659 were traced.
However DBE has issued a circular to all provincial education departments and schools on measures to take in order to prevent the spread of listeriosis.
The Department of Health advises members of the public to avoid all processed meat products that are sold as ready-to-eat.
– African News Agency (ANA)