Sublethal Damage in Listeria Monocytogenes after Non-Thermal Treatments, and Implications for Food Safety (pp. 99-114)
Authors: (A. Silva, C.M. Belda-Galbis, S.F. Zanini, D. Rodrigo, P. Martorell, A. Martínez, Departamento de Biotecnología Agroalimentaria, Valencia, Spain, and others)
Abstract: The presence of microorganisms in foods during production, packaging, transport and storage is unavoidable. Since January 2005, Regulation 178/2002/EC or General Food Law requires the traceability of the food chain in all its stages (EU, 2002). This directive will enforce the introduction of security mechanisms and controls for foodstuffs. One of the microorganisms of concern, mainly for ready-to-eat foods, is Listeria monocytogenes. Between 2002 and 2006 there was a significant increase in reported cases of human listeriosis in Member States of the European Union (EU) (EFSA, 2007). In 2007 there were 1,639 reported cases, of which 1,635 were subsequently confirmed, in 29 countries. The rate of global reporting was 0.35 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The proportion of samples exceeding the legal limit for Listeria monocytogenes in Member States was higher in ready-to-eat foods based on fish, followed by meat products and cheeses (EFSA and ECDC, 2011). Consequently, knowledge of microbial inactivation and growth behavior is very important for food safety and shelf-life assessment. Important aspects that should be considered as emerging risks are the changes that could take place after sublethal injury, i.e., changes in virulence. This review aims to evaluate
Listeria monocytogenes inactivation and growth in foodstuffs by simulating the supply chain in order to verify the relation existing between the various treatments that could be used by the industry to increase product lifetime without risk to consumers and sublethal damage.
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