A 5-Point Listeria Control Plan: A European Perspective
With an aging population and no reduction in Listeria cases, listeriosis is likely to become even more important in Europe, and all potential food industry control measures should be explored. A Listeria 5-point control plan to manage the occurrence of Listeria in high hygiene food manufacturing areas has been developed and trialed in the United Kingdom and Ireland since 2016; it comprises these points:
- Prevent entry of Listeria into high hygiene food manufacturing areas using effective barriers.
- Ensure that the high hygiene manufacturing infrastructure (building structure, equipment, and utensils) cannot harbor and/or allow the growth of Listeria (Listeria sources).
- Ensure that high hygiene good manufacturing practices limit the cross-contamination vectors that can carry Listeria from sources to product or product-contact surfaces.
- Design an effective cleaning and disinfection program that will kill or remove any Listeria that has entered the high hygiene area since the previous cleaning program.
- Provide an environmental monitoring and microbiological verification sampling program that monitors and verifies Listeria control procedures.
This review suggests that the plan develops a team ethos among factory technical, production, engineering, and hygiene functions and that success has been achieved in reducing the prevalence of Listeria in product and the environment.
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