CoE Articles

Listeria Hysteria on the menu at Science Forum South Africa 2018

Published December 5, 2018, by Mologadi Makwela

SFSA is a powerful public platform through which to facilitate debate about the role of science in society, by “making science accessible to everyone with an interest in what role science should play in society”.


The Food Safety research group of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE) from the University of Pretoria (UP), will take to the stage during the 4th Science Forum South Africa (SFSA2018) from 12 – 14 December 2018 at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria.

Together with postgraduate students – Thabang Msimango (MSc Biotechnology) and Tintswalo Baloyi (MSc Agric & Plant Pathology) – Professor Lise Korsten, co-director of the CoE will present a thought-provoking science talk tackling the food safety challenges affecting food security and nutrition in South Africa.

The presentation, entitled: “Listeria Hysteria” will be delivered in the form of an interactive community science play aimed at “bringing the message home that our food must be safe for all to prosper,” says Professor Korsten.

Regarded as the biggest outbreak in the world, the recent listeria outbreak in South Africa proved how important food safety is in our efforts to achieve food security.

The interactive performance will demonstrate the unfolding of events during the listeria outbreak. The play will take the audience through a layered, interactive approach where the unfolding of events reflects the “behind the scenes” drama that was happening during the World’s biggest foodborne disease outbreak.

“We hope to ignite conversations about the importance of public education about food safety, and what impact it can have on our health, well-being and our national food security status,” Korsten said.

The play will provide some food for thought and will demystify science as it provides real world solutions

Lise Korsten

The performance, scheduled for 15h30 on 13 December at the CSIR ICC, is a collaborative effort between UP’s Food Safety group and undergraduate students and members of the Department of Drama under the directorship of Bailey Snyman.

Live stream available HERE

About SFSA2018

SFSA is a powerful public platform through which to facilitate debate about the role of science in society, by “making science accessible to everyone with an interest in what role science should play in society”.

The exciting 2018 programme features compelling plenary panel discussions and interactive science talks that will “Ignite Conversations About Science” and ultimately, help advance the science and society interface.

More information about plenary sessions, talks and presenters is available online at The exciting programme will be further supported by 73 exhibitions, providing a vibrant space to continue the conversations about science.

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