Presence of Listeria monocytogenes and Sanitation Controls in Cold-Smoked Salmon Facilities during FDA Inspections

Jennifer Cripe, Mary Losikoff Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 184-194, Mar 2021 Volume 41, Issue 2: Pages 184–194

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted inspections to observe operating practices and obtain data on the prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in cold-smoked salmon processing facilities. FDA inspected and sampled 15 cold-smoked salmon processing facilities for Listeria spp. Environmental sampling showed that 13 facilities had one or fewer L. monocytogenes positive from each facility and two facilities had numerous (10 and 11, respectively) L. monocytogenes positives. The two facilities with numerous L. monocytogenes positives had gross in-sanitation and poor employee practices. One of these facil-ities had difficult-to-clean surfaces and inadequate cleaning and sanitizing; these likely contributed to cross-contamina-tion, which led to the adulteration of cold-smoked salmon finished product by a resident strain of L. monocytogenes. The inspection results also showed that the three facilities where there was no detection of Listeria spp. routinely conducted environmental and finished product testing, frequently trained employees, and did routine cleaning and sanitizing. Overall, the results indicate that sanitation is of the utmost importance and that implementation of Listeria- specific controls with environmental sampling should be done to prevent cold-smoked salmon from being adulterat-ed by L. monocytogenes.

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