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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #356372

Research Project: Development of Alternative Intervention Technologies for Fresh or Minimally Processed Foods

Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research

Title: Cost estimation of listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes) occurrence in South Africa in 2017-2018 and its food safety implications

Author
item Olanya, Modesto
item Hoshide, Aaron - University Of Maine
item Oluwatosin, Ijabadeniyi - Durban University Of Technology
item Ukuku, Dike
item Mukhopadhyay, Sudarsan
item Niemira, Brendan
item Ayeni, Olasunkanmi - Kwazulu-Natal Department Of Health

Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/6/2019
Publication Date: 4/4/2019
Citation: Olanya, O.M., Hoshide, A.K., Oluwatosin, I., Ukuku, D.O., Mukhopadhyay, S., Niemira, B.A., Ayeni, O. 2019. Cost estimation of listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes) occurrence in South Africa in 2017-2018 and its food safety implications. Food Control. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2019.02.007.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2019.02.007

Interpretive Summary: Control of foodborne pathogens is important for consumer safety. Occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes on diverse foods and listeriosis have been reported in developed countries, however; there are limited documentation of listeriosis in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017-2018, Listeria was reported on polony (processed deli meat), and listeriosis recorded in South Africa. Due to its potential consequences, we conducted cost estimates to assess the implications of listeriosis outbreak. The costs of listeriosis on morbidity, hospitalization, mortality, and losses in productivity in the affected populations were assessed. Cost estimations were computed on publicly available data and analyses conducted based on USDA-ERS cost estimates model for Listeria. Listeriosis outbreak had significant impacts, as mortality of 204 individuals with confirmed listeriosis cases was reported. Infants sustained the greatest fatality (42%). The cost valuation of fatality cases amounted to over $1.7 billion. Hospitalization costs associated with listeriosis for one-month recovery were estimated at $10.4 million. Productivity losses attributed to listeriosis for listeria-affected populations, food processors, polony value-chains and other processed meat in the domestic market were enormous. Optimization of food safety control system in South Africa would minimize reoccurrence of foodborne outbreaks as well as human and economic costs. Pre-emptive pathogen detection, precautionary sanitary procedures and pathogen inactivation could reduce Listeria in retail and food processing environments.

Technical Abstract: Periodic outbreaks of foodborne pathogens have resulted in food safety concerns, due to health implications and cost consequences. Occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes in foods and listeriosis have been reported in developed countries; however, documentation of listeriosis in South Africa is limited. In 2017-2018, Listeria was reported on polony (processed deli meat) and listeriosis was observed in South Africa. Due to its potential effects, we conducted cost estimates to assess the implications of listeriosis outbreak with respect to morbidity, hospitalization costs, mortality, and productivity losses. Cost estimates were computed on publicly available data by using USDA-ERS cost computation model for Listeria. Based on public data from South Africa, L. monocytogenes sequence type 6 (ST-6) was identified as the causal agent for listeriosis. Listeriosis had significant impacts, as mortality of 204 individuals with confirmed listeriosis cases was reported, with infants sustaining the greatest fatality (42%). The cost valuation of fatality cases was over US$ 260 million. Hospitalization costs associated with one-month recovery from listeriosis were estimated at US$ 10.4 million. Productivity losses attributed to listeriosis, food processors, and polony value-chain in the domestic market were in excess of US$ 15 million. Optimization of food safety measures in South Africa could minimize foodborne disease outbreaks. Pre-emptive pathogen detection, sanitary procedures and bacterial inactivation can enhance control of L. monocytogenes in food processing environments.