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A Risk-Based Approach to Determine "Best Consumed By" Dates to Control Exposure to Listeria Monocytogenes in Delicatessen Meats

Investigators
Ryser, Elliot; Marks, Bradley; Todd, Ewen
Institutions
Michigan State University
Start date
2005
End date
2009
Objective
  1. Assess the growth of a diverse set of eight L. monocytogenes RTE meat isolates in nine different brands/formulations of RTE uncured turkey, cured turkey, ham and roast beef during refrigerated storage at three different temperatures.
  2. Compare the growth/survival data from Objective 1 to the computer-based model developed at ARS-ERRC for growth of L. monocytogenes in broth culture.
  3. Develop best-consumed-by dates for delicatessen meats of different formulations stored at different temperatures based on growth of L. monocytogenes from 0.04 to 100 or 1000 CFU/g at the time of consumption.
  4. Identify retail food managers' knowledge, perceptions, and practices related to Listeria monocytogenes in the retail food environment.
  5. Determine the criteria by which dating labels will be embraced by both industry and consumers.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Despite ongoing efforts, listeriosis - a bacterial foodborne infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes, continues to extract a heavy toll on the American public. In recent years, approximately 2,500 cases of foodborne listeriosis, including 500 fatalities, have been reported. The overall goal of this proposal is to develop best consumed by dating for cured and uncured deli turkey, ham and roast beef using a risk-based approach that will minimize consumer exposure to potentially infectious levels of L. monocytogenes.

APPROACH: The overall goal of this proposal is to develop best-consumed-by dates for cured and uncured deli turkey, ham and roast beef using a risk-based approach that will minimize consumer exposure to potentially infectious levels of L. monocytogenes. Our strategy is to first determine the growth rate (e.g., lag time generation time) for a cocktail of eight L. monocytogenes deli meat strains in cured and uncured turkey, ham and roast beef of different formulations (pH, moisture, water activity, salt, fat, lactate, diacetate), and then use this information to develop a predictive model for growth of L. monocytogenes in these products based on product composition. These findings will then be used to update our L. monocytogenes risk assessment for ready-to-eat food products, with particular emphasis on delicatessen products. From this risk assessment, we will model different scenarios of best-consumed-by times so that the levels of L. monocytogenes will reach no more than 100-1000 CFU/g at consumption, based on different product formulations and consumer storage practices. Our suggested best-consumed-by dates will then be assessed in focus groups and by interviews, targeted at processors, retailers and consumers, taking into account the economic resources of households, especially those on fixed or low incomes. Our recommendations will then be shared with USDA and other regulatory agencies, so that voluntary or mandatory polices can be introduced to reduce the incidence of listeriosis by 50% to meet the goal of Healthy People 2010.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
MICL08362
Accession number
204570
Categories
Listeria
Bacterial Pathogens
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game