Food Safety Magazine says environmental monitoring for Listeria ‘fastest growing category’

July 19, 2018

In a wide-reaching survey that questioned food processors across the industry, Food Safety Magazine took stock of the ways companies handle their environmental testing for Listeria, saying, “It was clear to us that testing for Listeria was growing faster than perhaps any other microbiological category, and we wanted to find out more.”

Exactly 262 processors were surveyed, including 200 in the U.S. and Canada, about their test volumes and how they plan to change procedures in the coming years.

The magazine found that 35% of those surveyed said they planned to increase the number of environmental monitoring samples they collect by an average of 107%; just 15% said they would decrease theirs. These numbers include some very large processors who plan equally large changes.

Some companies reported that although they planned to increase all environmental monitoring for multiple pathogens, Listeria would be the primary focus. Food and Drug Administration guidance was a big motivator.

“We had been doing hundreds of Listeria samples per month and will now be doing hundreds of samples per week,” one company told the magazine.

The proactive “seek and destroy” method has reportedly been a successful technique for many of the processors to hunt for hard-to-reach niches where pathogens can survive undetected by routine sampling.

Overall, Food Safety Magazine concluded, “We anticipate that sample analysis for Listeria will be the fastest growing category in food safety microbiology for the next few years.”

To check out full coverage of the survey, its results, and an analysis of what it all means for the industry, check out the article on Food Safety Magazine’s website.


Category: Food Safety, Food & Beverage, Pathogens, Environmental Monitoring