Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2012
Publication Date: 7/22/2012
Citation: Luchansky, J.B., Porto Fett, A.C., Dennis, S., Chen, Y., Pouillot, R., Hoelzer, K., Gathercole, L., Papadakis, L., Williams, L., Shoyer, B.A., Lee, J., Lindsay, J.A., Kause, J., Mbandi, E., Eblen, D., Shaw, W., Gallagher, D., Cook, V., Bauer, N.E., Johnson, R., King, J., Murphy, M., Nasella, J., Starks, H.E., Khokhar, S., Spurlino, C., Nguyen, T., Berry, K., Kanjanakorn, A., Wadsworth, S., Baker, E.G., Harvey, C., Reed, C., Martino, K., Benjamin, L.A. 2012. Prevalence and levels of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in ready-to-eat foods (RTE) at retail [abstract]. Annual Meeting of the International Association for Food Protection. July 22-25, 2012, Providence, Rhode Island, 1:1. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Although significant efforts have been taken to control Lm in Ready-to-eat (RTE)foods over the last decade, a well-designed survey is needed to determine whether changes occur in the “true” prevalence and levels of the pathogen and to provide current data to assess the relative ranking of higher risk foods. Thus, a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary study was undertaken to determine the current prevalence and levels of Lm in deli-packaged versus prepackaged RTE foods purchased at retail establishments in four FoodNet sites. Phase I of the study included ten product categories: smoked seafood, seafood salad, low acid cut fruits, soft cheese, deli salads (non-meat), raw milk, sandwiches, deli meats, deli salads containing meat, and dried/fermented sausage. Samples were collected in both supermarket chain and independent grocery stores in California, Maryland, Connecticut and Georgia over a 12-month period beginning December 2010. Collaborations between FDA, FSIS, ARS and several universities enabled the collection of a representative and sufficient number of samples. Samples were analyzed using the FDA BAM method, which includes screening (25 gram or ml per each sample) and enumeration of positive samples by the MPN method and direct plating. Of the ca.7,500 FDA regulated samples tested to date, the observed prevalence ranged from ca. 0% to 1.0% for seven product categories. Of the ca. 3,500 FSIS-regulated products tested, the observed prevalence ranged from ca. 0% to 0.1% for three product categories. For the 43 samples tested positive in screening, the Lm levels ranges from ca. less than 0.3 MPN/g to 2.4 log CFU/g. This is the most comprehensive survey of Lm in retail RTE foods in the past decade. Our findings provide data to assess changes in Lm prevalence and levels in RTE foods and will be used to update the 2003 Interagency Lm risk assessment. The study also underscores the importance of continued research to develop and validate interventions to ensure a wholesome food supply.