This project involves the risk profiling of Listeria in ready-to eat foods (RTE) and determination of control strategies and practical interventions for food processors across Northern Ireland. The study is based on an equivalent project carried out in the Republic of Ireland under the Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM) translational research programme.
The objectives of the project are:
to carry out a comprehensive review of the literature around Listeria monocytogenes in the cooked sliced meat processing environment, and existing control strategies
to recruit approximately 30 food processors in Northern Ireland from a range of agricultural sectors for training on sampling for Listeria monocytogenes
six environmental samples, and two food samples will be taken from each premises on a bi-monthly basis for 18 months and analysed for Listeria
isolates will be used in studies designed to ascertain the causes of persistence in the processing environment, growth in the foods produced at the facilities and the disease potential of the isolates
isolates will also be used in studies designed to develop control strategies for Listeria monocytogenes.
Dissemination of results through the safefood Listeria Network, and targeted workshops aimed at up skilling food business operators, regulators, vets, etc.