10 signatures reached
To: Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh and CEO of the Consumer Goods Council Gwarega Mangozhe
Stop food related illnesses: Food safety for all
Please help implement a public education campaign or programme that teaches and empowers communities and everyday people the basics of food safety, hygiene and HACCP so we can avoid another pathogenic outbreak in SA
Why is this important?
Between late 2017 and early 2018 our country went down in history for the biggest listeria outbreak in history, affecting over 1000 people and killing almost 300. Many families were robbed of their loved ones by the very thing they work to put on their table- food. Thousands of lives were affected by the decisions of a group of individuals employed by the biggest and most indispensable industry in the universe, its all good and well that the perpetrators are being held accountable for their actions and it is also commendable that they are cooperative and willing to attempt to compensate for the damage caused (though 300 fold irreversible)- my issue is not about corrective action, its in preventative action, the listeria outbreak should have opened our eyes to the fact that the giant that is our food industry is not indestructible, in fact in as much as the industry is one of our greatest assets, it can easily turn into our biggest serial killer, with unsuspecting civilians as its prey and deadly bacteria as its modus operandi- we need to implement not only corrective action but preventative action as well, surely we can't wait until another outbreak or more lives lost before we educate society that listeria is not the only food-related pathogen? That there are a handful of other deadly germs that are waiting for ideal conditions to pounce. I think Africa has always placed so much focus on food availability and food security and I feel that not enough emphasis has been placed on what we should look out for when we finally get our hands on food. We need to educate the general public on what to look out for, how to prepare and store food safely, what to do when they suspect food is unsafe etc to help prevent another negative world record again.