Research – Listeria monocytogenes in the Food Processing Environment



Purpose of Review

Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that causes listeriosis, a relatively rare but potentially fatal disease with a 19% mortality rate and a 99% hospitalisation rate. It affects mainly elderly and immunocompromised individuals.

Ready-to-eat (RTE) foods are particularly dangerous with regard to L. monocytogenes as there is no further anti-microbial step between production and consumption. The purpose of this work is to review the importance of Listeria monocytogenes in the food processing environment.

Recent Findings

Cross-contamination from the processing environment to the food at production or at retail level is the most common route of RTE food contamination. If present on a food matrix,L. monocytogeneshas a remarkable ability to survive andcan grow during refrigeration to sufficient numbers to cause disease.SummaryWhile hygiene processes and awareness can help control ofL. monocytogenesin food processing environments, newmethods such as bacteriophages and bacteriocins are being applied to control it in food, reducing public healthissues.

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