Industry Guidelines to Prevent Contamination from Listeria monocytogenes
Publish Date: June 3, 2006
Extensive efforts to control Listeria monocytogenes can reduce the frequency and level (CFU/g or cm2 ) of contamination, but it is not possible, given currently available technology, to eradicate it from the processing environment or totally eliminate the potential for contamination of finished products. Because of the serious nature of listeriosis in the susceptible population, industry must take stringent measures to control L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods in which the organism can grow. This document provides practical guidelines for preventing recontamination of products with L. monocytogenes, including controls directed toward preventing contamination of product surfaces and preventing the establishment and growth of the organism in niches in the plant environment. Although this document focuses on refrigerated, ready-to-eat products that support the growth of L. monocytogenes, the guidelines may be applied to other products to minimize contamination. The guidelines, which cover General Considerations, Processing Operations, Packaging and Storage Operations, Equipment Considerations, General Plant Sanitation, and Employee Personal Hygiene, also provide general guidance on environmental monitoring programs that use indicator organisms such as generic Listeria to verify the effectiveness of the L. monocytogenes control program.
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