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Listeria monocytogenes: Occurrence in beef and identification of the main contamination points in processing plants

Barros, M.A.F., Nero, L.A., Silva, L.C., d'Ovidio, L., Monteiro, F.A., Tamanini, R., Fagnani, R., Hofer, E., Beloti, V.
Meat science 2007 v.76 no.4 pp. 591-596
slaughterhouses, meat processing, food processing plants, beef, microbial detection, incidence, Listeria monocytogenes, food pathogens, bacterial contamination, food contamination, serotypes, Listeria innocua, Listeria seeligeri, Listeria welshimeri, Listeria grayi, Brazil
This study aimed to establish the occurrence of Listeria spp., especially L. monocytogenes and its main serotypes, in beef and processing plants. A total of 443 samples were obtained from equipment, installations and products from 11 meat processing establishments from Paraná state, Brazil. All samples were analyzed using USDA methodology for Listeria spp. detection, followed by species identification. The occurrence of Listeria spp. in the samples was 38.1% of which 51.4% were from equipment, 35.4% from installations and 30.2% from products. The identified species were: L. monocytogenes (12.6%), L. innocua (78.4%), L. seeligeri (1.2%), L. welshimeri (7.2%) and L. grayi (0.6%). The identified serotypes of L. monocytogenes were 1/2a and 4b. The results demonstrate the significance of equipment and installations as sources of contamination by Listeria spp. and L. monocytogenes in the processing of beef and meat products.