LISTERIA Action Plan for Retailers
Listeria control is an ongoing challenge for retailers in the deli and any department where fresh foods are stored and foods are prepared. FMI and our members are committed to finding ways to control the growth and if possible, eliminate the presence of Listeria at retail to reduce the risk in the retail environment. Retail delis provide an ideal environment for Listeria growth due to the type of food (ready to eat [RTE] meats, cheeses, and salads), the moist environment, and temperatures that support the growth of Listeria. As retailers increase the RTE and prepared foods they offer to customers, Listeria control plans need to be in place to offer the appropriate food safety controls. For the purposes of this document, the organism we are concerned about is Listeria monocytogenes which we will abbreviate as Listeria. It is commonly found in the environment and when ingested, it can cause serious disease in humans and has been associated with a significantly higher hospitalization and fatality rate than other foodborne pathogens. FMI Food Protection Committee have expanded upon the advice and recommendations of the Listeria Action Plan for Retail Delis to include additional recommendations in order to assist retailers in developing food safety plans to help control the growth of Listeria beyond the deli.