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Detect Higher Risk Food Products

By December 13, 2017Blog

Is Your Food Product at High Risk for Listeria Contamination?


The FDA recommends that your environmental monitoring procedures use a risk-based approach in which you establish strategies for environmental monitoring. In general, the greater the risk that an RTE food could become contaminated with L. monocytogenes and support growth of the organism, the greater the frequency of environmental sampling and testing, and the more stringent the corrective actions.

The following questions may be used to determine if a food product is lower or higher risk.

Does the food receive a listericidal treatment to adequately reduce L. monocytogenes?
Yes (Lower Risk) / No (Higher Risk)

Is the food formulated to prevent the growth of L. monocytogenes or be lethal to L. monocytogenes (e.g., through intrinsic characteristics such as pH or water activity)?
Yes (Lower Risk) / No (Higher Risk)

How much handling does the food receive subsequent to a pathogen reduction step and prior to packaging?
Minimal (Lower Risk) / Extensive (Higher Risk)

Does the food receive a listericidal control measure in the package?
Yes (Lower Risk) / No (Higher Risk)

What is the shelf life of the product during refrigerated storage?
Short (Lower Risk) / Long (Higher Risk)

Does the packaged RTE food support the growth of L. monocytogenes under normal storage conditions?
Yes (Lower Risk) / No (Higher Risk)


For more information, read the FDA’s “Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-To-Eat Foods: Guidance for Industry Draft Guidance