1. Use a simple, enhanced visual verification system to insure that food contact surfaces of deli slicers are “clean to sight and touch” using a food grade or fluorescent dye.
<P>2. Evaluate commercial cleaning and sanitizing compounds and cloths against strains of Lm recovered from the actual operating environment of retail delis.
<P>3. Optimize lethal treatments to achieve a 5 log reduction of Lm on actual deli slicers’ food contact surfaces.
<P>4. Evaluate the “Best Practices” for cleaning and exposing deli meat slicers to a lethal treatment step under commercial deli conditions and in cooperation with commercial deli managers.
a) Red food dye was effective in locating potential contamination of meat and fat on the deli food surfaces. Glo Germ™ could be used as tool in training deli employees on the ease of spreading contaminants throughout the deli environment.
b) A common 100% terry cloth towel gave the greatest log reduction of Listeria contamination when using Barrier II as the sanitizer. Commonly used wipes containing disinfectant were not as effective. Additional testing is under way with industrial support.
c) We are continuing to interact with local deli managers to develop a “mock deli” training center and develop training modules for managers and employees.
Effective measures to reduce or eliminate cross contamination at the retail level to protect consumers from foodborne listeriosis.