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NZ: Fact sheet for microbiological limits for L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods

NZ Ministry for Primary Industries: This fact sheet provides general advice to processors of ready-to-eat (RTE) food in applying the microbiological limits for Listeria monocytogenes in RTE foods in accordance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Food Standards Code) Standard 1.6.1.

People can become sick if high numbers of the bacteria are eaten. Pregnant women, the very young, the elderly, and immunocompromised persons are particularly susceptible to the effects of L. monocytogenes. There are also some RTE foods which are excluded from Standard 1.6.1.

The microbiological criteria for L. monocytogenes have been revised in the Food Standards Code 1.6.1 – Microbiological Limits for Food. The Schedule to Standard 1.6.1 – Microbiological Limits in Food specifies end point microbiological limits (i.e. measured at the end of a product’s shelf life) for L. monocytogenes in all types of RTE foods based on whether growth of the microorganism can occur. There are also some RTE foods which are excluded from Standard 1.6.1.

Click here to access the Fact Sheet from the Ministry for Primary Industries.