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Occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Meat Products and Meat Processing Plants in Spain

Gómez, Diego, Iguácel, Laura Pilar, Rota, Mª Carmen, Carramiñana, Juan José, Ariño, Agustín, Yangüela, Javier
Foods 2015 v.4 no.3 pp. 271-282
Listeria monocytogenes, cleaning, cooked foods, disinfection, equipment, food contact surfaces, food safety, meat processing plants, meat products, ready-to-eat foods, shelf life, Spain
The aim of this work was to study the occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes in several types of ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products and in the environment of meat processing plants. A total of 129 samples of RTE meat products and 110 samples from work surfaces and equipment were analyzed. L. monocytogenes was detected in 6 out of 35 cooked products (17.14%), 21 out of 57 raw-cured products (36.84%), and 9 out of 37 dry-cured, salted products (24.32%). The number of sample units that exceeded the food safety limit of 100 cfu/g decreased from the manufacture date to half shelf life, and then it was further reduced at the end of shelf life. L. monocytogenes was detected in 25 out of 110 (22.72%) food contact surfaces. The number of positive and negative results from both food and environmental samples were cross-tabulated and the calculated Cohen’s kappa coefficient (κ) was 0.3233, indicating a fair agreement in terms of Listeria contamination. L. monocytogenes was recovered after cleaning and disinfection procedures in four plants, highlighting the importance of thorough cleaning and disinfection.