Current Clinical Microbiology Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 106–119 | Cite as

Listeria monocytogenes in the Food Processing Environment

  • Kieran JordanEmail author
  • Karen Hunt
  • Antonio Lourenco
  • Vincenzo Pennone
Foodborne Pathogens (S Johler, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Foodborne Pathogens


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. monocytogenes has a remarkable ability to survive and can grow during refrigeration to sufficient numbers to cause disease.


While hygiene processes and awareness can help control of L. monocytogenes in food processing environments, new methods such as bacteriophages and bacteriocins are being applied to control it in food, reducing public health issues.


Listeria monocytogenes Food processing environment Control 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kieran Jordan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karen Hunt
    • 1
  • Antonio Lourenco
    • 1
  • Vincenzo Pennone
    • 1
  1. 1.Teagasc Food Research CentreCorkIreland

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