Pick n Pay Group Enterprises Director DALLAS LANGMAN has assured Zambian government that the retail chain store will cooperate with government’s directive to remove products from its stores that have been listed as posing a potential danger to the spread of the current outbreak of Listeriosis disease that affected South Africa.
In an assurance letter sent to the Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. EMMANUEL MWAMBA, LANGMAN said the removing the listed products from the store’s shelves was the right thing to do.
He said his chain store proactively began to remove ready-to-eat meat products the moment they were identified as being the source of the disease, adding that the company will continue exercising sense of responsibility until the end of the disease.
Mr. Langman, however, appealed to government authorities to issue coordinated information to both the retailers and Health Inspectors to ensure that the process was complete and detailed.
He observed that there was a need to formulate a strict mechanism to ensure that there was uniformity of information disseminated to stakeholders in order to avoid issuing conflicting messages which were adding to what he describe as an “already complex situation”.
Mr. Langman said lack of clarity on the list of potential products to be removed from the store’s shelves was causing public confusion and increasing workload of all stakeholders without benefits to public health.
He has since appealed to the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria to help facilitate the communication right information between the chain store and relevant government institutions to enable the company continue fully cooperating as it was already doing.
This comes in the wake of the government banning the import of ready-to-eat meat and other products from South Africa following the outbreak of Listeriosis in that country that has so far claimed lives of 180 people.
Prior to banning the import of ready to eat meat products, Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. EMMANUEL MWAMBA called on South African retail chain stores operating in Zambia to recall ready-to-eat meat products imported from that country following expert confirmation that the products were a source of Listeria bacteria.
The Mission had earlier requested the South African government through the Department of International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO), to put precautionary health measures in place to ensure that all its food exports to Zambia were free of a foodborne disease.
Mrs. Naomi Nyawali
First Secretary Press and Public Relations.