Food Processing Sanitation Experts

Listeria & Best Practices


Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die.

Listeria is caused by bacteria that can grow at cold temperatures, like those inside a refrigerator. Even freezing doesn’t stop it. When it contaminates food, you can’t see, smell, or taste it.

Listeria can be sourced from unpasteurized milk and dairy products, raw fruits and vegetables, ready to ear deli meats and hot dogs, meat spreads, refrigerated smoked food, etc.

From utilizing listericidals to conducting finished product testing, a host of industry guidance documents, such as the Food and Drug Administration’s “Control of Listeria monocytogenes in RTE Food: Guidance for Industry,” outlines a comprehensive roadmap for building an effective management program (3). The following section summarizes a quartet of those all-important aspects.





Sources:, United States – Major pathogens. Emerg Infect Dis 17:7–15. , FDA.Gov, ,, WebMD,,, Best Sanitizers

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