Control of Listeria species food safety at a poultry food production facility

Edward Fox, Patrick Wall, Seamus Fanning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Surveillance and control of food-borne human pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes, is a critical aspect of modern food safety programs at food production facilities. This study evaluated contamination patterns of Listeria species at a poultry food production facility, and evaluated the efficacy of procedures to control the contamination and transfer of the bacteria throughout the plant. The presence of Listeria species was studied along the production chain, including raw ingredients, food-contact, non-food-contact surfaces, and finished product. All isolates were sub-typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to identify possible entry points for Listeria species into the production chain, as well as identifying possible transfer routes through the facility. The efficacy of selected in-house sanitizers against a sub-set of the isolates was evaluated. Of the 77 different PFGE-types identified, 10 were found among two or more of the five categories/areas (ingredients, food preparation, cooking and packing, bulk packing, and product), indicating potential transfer routes at the facility. One of the six sanitizers used was identified as unsuitable for control of Listeria species. Combining PFGE data, together with information on isolate location and timeframe, facilitated identification of a persistent Listeria species contamination that had colonized the facility, along with others that were transient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalFood Microbiology
Early online date21 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


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