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Characterization of Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria innocua from a vegetable processing plant by RAPD and REA.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Food Microbiology
0168-1605
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
90
Issue
3
Pages
341–347
Identifiers
PMID: 14751689
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The incidence of Listeria monocytogenes in a vegetable processing plant was investigated over a 23-month period. Frozen ready-to-eat vegetable samples, well as the plant environment, were sampled. The molecular subtyping techniques, Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and Restriction Endonuclease Analyses (REA), were performed to help investigate the origin and routes of Listeria dissemination. The low and sporadic incidence of L. monocytogenes made it impossible to establish an epidemiological sequence in the processing plant, though a case of cross-contamination between tomato and ratatouille was detected. Listeria innocua subtyping, however, allowed us to determine the prevalence of several strains in vegetables, and their presence on machinery samples suggested the possibility of cross-contamination during processing. The low incidence of L. monocytogenes indicated that the risk of listeriosis transmission by vegetable consumption is low. On the other hand, the isolation of the same strain of L. innocua in several surveys pointed out the risk of colonisation on surfaces and machinery. The persistence of Listeria spp. is a cause for concern as can lead to future contamination of vegetables processed in the plant and to a possible increased risk for health. Therefore, periodic controls for the presence of Listeria spp. and a further review of the cleaning and disinfection procedures used in frozen vegetable plants are recommended.

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