Revision of the South African Food Safety Legal Framework Following the 2017/2018 Listeriosis Outbreak

By: Anel Gildenhuys  

South Africa is experiencing the greatest listeriosis outbreak ever to be reported in South African history. On 14 March 2018 the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases indicated that 978 cases of confirmed listeriosis have been reported since 2017, of which 183 deaths have been reported. After months of investigation, the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, on 4 March 2018 indicated that the source of the outbreak could be traced to a leading meat processing factory in South Africa and the products have since been recalled. The question now arises as to whether the legal framework applicable to food safety in South Africa is effective and whether revisions (specifically with reference to the implementation of the framework) are required. This paper will first identify the legal framework where after the effectiveness of the framework in light of the recent listeriosis outbreak will be critically discussed, followed by possible recommendations for reform of the framework.

Food safety, Listeriosis
Food, Politics, and Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Anel Gildenhuys

Senior lecturer, Faculty of Law, North-West University, South Africa
North-West Province, South Africa

Dr Anél Gildenhuys is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, North-West University, South Africa. Her research focus is on food safety, food security, the right to food, human security and framework legislation. In her doctoral thesis she applied a human rights-based approach to discuss various means to accommodate food security, as a developmental goal, in South African legislation.