TitleOccurrence and distribution of listeria species in facilities producing ready-to-eat foods in British Columbia, Canada.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsKovacevic, J, McIntyre, LF, Henderson, SB, Kosatsky, T
JournalJ Food Prot
Date Published2012 Feb
KeywordsAnimals, British Columbia, Colony Count, Microbial, Dairy Products, Fast Foods, Fish Products, Food Contamination, Food Microbiology, Food-Processing Industry, Humans, Listeria, Listeria monocytogenes, Meat Products, Prevalence

In British Columbia (BC), Canada, food processing facilities licensed under provincial authority are not required to sample for Listeria monocytogenes in food products or processing environments. In 2009, we conducted a survey of dairy, fish, and meat facilities under BC authority to estimate the prevalence of Listeria spp. and L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods and production environments. From August to October, 250 RTE food samples and 258 swabs from the food processing environments of 43 facilities were collected. Standard culture methods were applied to both food samples and swabs. Of swabs collected from all 258 environmental surfaces, 15% were positive for Listeria spp. Significantly (P, 0.001) more fish facilities than dairy and meat facilities had food contact surfaces contaminated with Listeria spp. L. monocytogenes was found in RTE foods from fish facilities alone (5 of 12); in all five of the fish facilities with contaminated product, one or more environmental swabs were also positive for L. monocytogenes. The results suggest that while control of L. monocytogenes in BC-inspected dairy and meat facilities is effective in limiting food contamination, there is a need for provincial inspectors to initiate improved monitoring and management of contamination by L. monocytogenes in RTE fish processing facilities.

Alternate JournalJ. Food Prot.
PubMed ID22289580