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A surveillance of luncheon meats for the occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes in grocery stores in Tennessee

by 1980- Stevens, Jacob Henry

Abstract (Summary)
The current United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy of ‘zero tolerance’ for Listeria monocytogenes in ready to eat (RTE) foods has prompted the food industry to increase food safety and sanitation practices in order to reduce and inhibit the growth of L. monocytogenes. In order to better understand the point of contamination of luncheon meats, a survey of its occurrence was performed in grocery stores throughout Tennessee. Approximately 1000 manufactured-packaged and 1000 deli-sliced luncheon meat samples were analyzed using the USDA-FSIS analytical method with minor modifications over a 10-month period. The overall occurrence of the organism was 0.8%. There were a significantly higher percentage (P < 0.05) of positive delisliced samples than manufactured-packaged luncheon meat samples. Most of the positive samples had a population of less than 0.3 MPN/g, but L. monocytogenes was never recovered; in a few cases the population exceeded 110 MPN/g. Chromogenic agar provided more rapid confirmation of L. monocytogenes than modified oxford agar (MOX) agar. Results from this study showed that increased food safety practices are needed in grocery store deli environments in order to reduce occurrence of lunchmeat due to excessive, yet necessary handling. iv
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School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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