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Lab M range can help food manufacturers buck listeriosis trend

An increasing incidence of listeriosis in Europe highlights the need to increase and maintain targeted active surveillance for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to eat (RTE) foods across the complete lifetime of the product. Microbiological media specialist Lab M provides a range of culture media designed specifically for this purpose.

An increasing incidence of listeriosis in Europe highlights the need to increase and maintain targeted active surveillance for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to eat (RTE) foods across the complete lifetime of the product. Microbiological media specialist Lab M provides a range of culture media designed specifically for this purpose. The range includes: Fraser BrothPLUS and Half Fraser BrothPLUS, HarlequinTM Listeria Chromogenic Agar, Listeria Isolation Medium (Oxford), PALCAM Agar and Listeria Monocytogenes Blood Agar.The European Commission has agreed to contribute more than €1.5million to a survey on the prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in some ready-to-eat (RTE) foods across the European Union as a result of what it describes as a “significant increasing trend in cases of listeriosis”. Additionally, following reports of an increase in cases of Listeria in the UK, predominantly in the over-60s age group, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) sought advice from the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), on the reasons for this change.According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), because RTE fish, cheese and meat products no longer undergo any treatment, such as cooking, before consumption, final products suffer the highest frequency of Listeria contamination. However, another recent study published by the LACORS/HPA Co-ordinated Food Liaison Group in July 2009 [Assessment of the Microbiological Safety of Speciality Meats from Markets and Small, www.hpa.org] concluded that contamination of pre-packed RTE speciality meats designed to require no further cooking or preparation by the consumer, occurred before the point of sale - either with incomplete elimination during processing or as a result of cross-contamination.These studies emphasise how the enrichment and isolation of Listeria species from food at all stages of production, manufacture and storage is vital towards monitoring and controlling the organism. Lab M’s range for the detection of Listeria monocytogenes is comprehensive.

Article first published : 24/11/2009