Research – Evaluation of the Persistence and Characterization of Listeria monocytogenes in Foodservice Operations


Listeria monocytogenes is a major foodborne pathogen that can contaminate food products and colonize food-producing facilities. Foodservice operations (FSOp) are frequently responsible for foodborne outbreaks due to food safety practices failures. We investigated the presence of and characterized L. monocytogenes from two FSOp (cafeterias) distributing ready-to-eat meals and verified FSOp’s compliance with good manufacturing practices (GMP). Two facilities (FSOp-A and FSOp-B) were visited three times each over 5 months. We sampled foods, ingredients, and surfaces for microbiological analysis, and L. monocytogenes isolates were characterized by phylogenetic analyses and phenotypic characteristics. GMP audits were performed in the first and third visits. A ready-to-eat salad (FSOp-A) and a frozen ingredient (FSOp-B) were contaminated with L. monocytogenes, which was also detected on Zone 3 surfaces (floor, drains, and a boot cover). The phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that FSOp-B had persistent L. monocytogenes strains, but environmental isolates were not closely related to food or ingredient isolates. GMP audits showed that both operations worked under “fair” conditions, and “facilities and equipment” was the section with the least compliances. The presence of L. monocytogenes in the environment and GMP failures could promote food contamination with this pathogen, presenting a risk to consumers. View Full-Text

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s