In the past month‚ another 167 people have contracted deadly listeriosis‚ bringing the total number of confirmed cases in South Africa to 717.
Food scientists are now calling it the worst documented listeriosis outbreak in global history.
In its latest listeriosis update‚ dated January 3‚ the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) - which has been tracking the listeriosis outbreak for an entire year - said 61 deaths had been reported.
Listeriosis has a relatively high mortality rate - 20-25% compared to illnesses caused by most other food-borne pathogens. Less than 1% of people who get Salmonella or E. coli O157 die as a result.
Neonates - babies less than 28 days old - remain the most affected by listeriosis.