Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Listeria Control in Consumer Protein Products

02.07.2008
Most cases of Listeria occur at the deli counter rather than at the manufacturer, yet most of the federal government’s sanitary guidelines are geared toward plants.

At this year’s Institute of Food Technologists Annual Conference and Food Expo, experts from the U.S. government, academia and food industry discussed how to minimize Listeria in facilities that process consumer protein products.

Some 80 percent of Listeria-related deaths occurred in people who bought sliced meat at a deli counter rather than packaged meat. But the primary regulators for retail establishments, such as delis and restaurants, are state-level inspectors. Much to the frustration of some retailers, the federal government has provided little guidance as to how to combat the dangerous pathogen.

“I can’t design a cleaning procedure until someone tells me what the rules are,” said O. Peter Snyder Jr., president of Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management. “If you think these things need to be washed, I’ll wash it, but tell me how to wash it.”

... more about:
»Listeria »Snyder »deli »meat

Snyder said the government has failed to provide retailers with specific standards they must achieve. So it is left to state inspectors, who conduct periodic inspections and either pass or fail the establishment based on their individual interpretations of cleanliness.

Most establishments have at least some presence of Listeria, whether it’s in a floor drain or on a meat slicer. Snyder said that it’s almost impossible to eradicate the facility entirely. Manufacturing plants are specifically designed to eliminate pathogens, but retail establishments are not, he said. Indeed, a 2006 study by New York’s Department of Agriculture found Listeria in 58 percent of the retail establishments they tested.

“I don’t know if it’s politics, but no one will come up with specific procedures,” Snyder said.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials say they are working to develop better data for the industry, but until then, retailers should decide for themselves how often and what methods to use to sanitize their facilities.

“Based on the data, they have found that about 80 percent of deaths related to deli meats are those packaged at the retail level,” said Janell Kause, director of the Office of Public Health Science, Food Safety and Inspection Service at the USDA. “If the problem is unsanitary conditions at processors, we need to figure out how we’re going to address that.”

One area of concern should be the deli’s drainage system. Most retailers don’t clean their drains properly, and part of the problem is that workers either don’t know better or simply won’t do better. Larry Kohl, a senior director of food safety programs at the Food Marketing Institute, said he once asked a chemical supplier to create a product that would essentially clean the drain itself. He asked for an alka-seltzer-type formula that would run down the drain, scrubbing along the way, using a tough ingredient that could break through the bacteria-laden biofilms and grease.

“Cleaning the drain is a nasty thing, that no one wants to do,” Kohl said.

CONTACTS:

O. Peter Snyder, Jr., President of Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management, 651-646-7077

Janell Kause, Director, Office of Public Health Science, Food Safety and Inspection Service at the USDA, 202-690-0286

Larry Kohl, senior director of the Food Safety Programs at the Food marketing Institute, 202-452-8444

Patricia Kendall, professor at Colorado State University, 970-491-1045

About IFT
Founded in 1939, and with world headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA, the Institute of Food Technologists is a not-for-profit international scientific society with 22,000 members working in food science and technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues. For more on IFT, visit www.ift.org. © 2008 Institute of Food Technologists

Jeannie Houchins | newswise
Further information:
http://www.ift.org

Further reports about: Listeria Snyder deli meat

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

nachricht Calcium may play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease
19.02.2018 | University of Cambridge

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display

19.02.2018 | Information Technology

Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?

19.02.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>