Lusaka. The South African food export market seems headed for a crisis after several SADC bloc member states banned its processed meat over a poisoning outbreak.
Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique and Botswana have all ordered a suspension of the South African imports.
The Southern African Development Community aims at furthering socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among its 16 members.
The inter-governmental organisation's headquarters are in Gaborone, Botswana.
At least 180 people have been reported killed in South Africa by listeria poisoning, leading to the government advising against the eating of any processed meat.
Zambia’s Health minister Chitalu Chilufya told reporters that the owners of the South African supermarkets as well as other stores, have been directed to cooperate with his ministry to remove from the shelves the affected products.
Zambia imports numerous products from South African apart from processed foods.
At least 948 cases of listeria poisoning have been reported in South Africa since January 2017.
Listeria poisoning is believed to have originated in a factory in the northern city of Polokwane, which makes Enterprise Food products.
The chief executive of Tiger Brands, which owns the Enterprise label, insisted that "no direct link" had been proved between its products and any of the 180 deaths.