Pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes pose an appreciable threat to the safety of our food supply. In recent years, this bacterium has been responsible for several large recalls and numerous illnesses linked to various foods, including cheese. In fact, a recent risk assessment by the USDA, FDA, and CDC on the "Relative Risk to Public Health from Food Borne Listeria monocytogenes Among Selected Categories of Ready-to-Eat Foods" identified fresh soft cheese such as Queso Fresco as having the highest predicted relative risk for listeriosis on a per serving basis among 20 categories of food. As such, additional research is warranted to better detect/type and control this food borne pathogen at various steps in the process of preparing and storing Mexican-style cheese. To this end, the primary objective of this specific cooperative agreement is to conduct microbial sampling of various areas, surfaces, and products on a dairy farm, within an integrated cheese processing plant, and in distribution/storage of Queso Fresco and Panela cheese in Mexico to monitor the efficacy of operations with the ultimate goal of pathogen reduction.