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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 #359482

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

Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research

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

item Olanya, Modesto
item HOSHIDE, AARON - University Of Maine
item OLUWATOSIN, IJABADENIYI - Durban University Of Technology
item Ukuku, Dike
item Niemira, Brendan
item Mukhopadhyay, Sudarsan
item AYENI, OLASUNKANMI - Kwazulu-Natal Department Of Health

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/10/2018
Publication Date: 6/2/2019
Citation: Olanya, O.M., Hoshide, A.K., Oluwatosin, I.A., Ukuku, D.O., Niemira, B.A., Mukhopadhyay, S., Ayeni, O. 2019. Cost assessment of listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes) occurrence in South Africa in 2017-2018 and its food safety implications. Meeting Abstract. Volume 1, Page 1; IFT Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA,

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Introduction. Outbreaks of foodborne pathogens have resulted in significant food safety concerns, due to health and cost implications. Limited occurrence of listeriosis have been documented previously in South Africa and other developing countries. In 2017-2018, Listeria was reported on polony (processed deli meat) and listeriosis was observed in South Africa. Purpose. Cost estimates were evaluated to assess implications of listeriosis occurrence in South Africa with regard to morbidity, hospitalization costs, mortality, and productivity losses of listeriosis affected individuals. Methods. Cost estimates were computed on publicly available data from South Africa. The USDA-ERS cost computation model for Listeria foodborne illness was used to compute listeriosis costs in South Africa. The computational model had low, average and high cost listeriosis-case outbreak scenarios for different health outcomes and productivity losses. Costs of the Listeria outbreak were estimated specifically for South Africa, including values of human life and work lost, hospitalization costs and revenue losses from suspended deli meat exports. Results. Listeriosis had significant impacts on affected populations, as mortality of 204 individuals with confirmed listeriosis cases (L. monocytogenes, ST-6) was reported in South Africa. Listeriosis occurred on all age groups, but infants sustained the most fatalities (42%). The cost valuation of mortality cases was estimated in excess of US$ 260 million. Hospitalization costs for one-month recovery from listeriosis were estimated at US$ 10.4 million. Productivity losses attributed to listeriosis for food processors, and the domestic polony value-chain were in excess of US$ 15 million. Significance. Pathogen occurrence in food processing facilities can have significant consequences unless effective and timely control measures are implemented. Optimization of food safety measures in South Africa and other developing countries can minimize foodborne disease outbreaks. Pre-emptive pathogen detection, sanitary procedures and bacterial inactivation can enhance control of L. monocytogenes in food processing environments.