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Aus has a new Standard for Listeria monocytogenes, but does it apply to you? asks Richard Bennett

"Listeria monocytogenes PHIL 2287 lores" by Elizabeth White - This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #2287.Note: Not all PHIL images are public domain; be sure to check copyright status and credit authors and content providers.English | Slovenščina | +/−. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Listeria_monocytogenes_PHIL_2287_lores.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Listeria_monocytogenes_PHIL_2287_lores.jpg

There already were maximum limits for Listeria monocytogenes in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). Standard 1.6.1 had what’s called a vertical approach, establishing limits for specific types and limited number of foods. The limit generally specified was “not detected in 25 g”.

Guideline criteria for L. monocytogenes in foods is also provided in the FSANZ Recall guidelines for packaged ready-to-eat foods found to contain Listeria monocytogenes at point of sale (Recall Guidelines) and Guidelines for the microbiological examination of ready-to-eat foods (RTE Guidelines), based on whether a food is able, or not able, to support the growth of L. monocytogenes.

So what’s changed?

The prescriptive versus risk-based inconsistencies above have obviously troubled Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the food industry. The product by product approach does not reflect product and processing characteristics that may mean some foods currently considered high risk are actually low risk due to the application of a listericidal process (a process that kills Listeria), and vice versa. This obviously makes a difference to the limits that apply.

View the full post at PMA AN-Z: http://bit.ly/ZUFqFF

Image credit: Listeria monocytogenes by Elizabeth White
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