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.
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.
KeywordsListeria 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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