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Tracking Listeria Monocytogenes in a Commercial Poultry Further Processing Plant


The objectives of this cooperative research project are: <OL> <LI> To determine the environmental sources of Listeria monocytogenes to product contact surfaces and fully cooked product within a specific poultry further processing plant. <LI> To determine if season has any effect on the recovery of L. monocytogenes in a commercial poultry cook plant.

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Every 4 to 6 weeks through the course of a year, a commercial poultry further processing plant will be sampled for L. monocytogenes. Prior to a production run, environmental sites suspected to harbor L. monocytogenes will be sampled as well as surfaces that will contact fully cooked product. Based on preliminary data, it is expectd that some of the environmental sites will yield L. monocytogenes while none of the cleaned and sanitized product contact surfaces will. The plant will then run it's normal production schedule during which a subset of incoming raw product, personnel and equipment will be sampled for the presence of L. monocytogenes. At the end of the production shift, all product contact surfaces sampled prior to production will be sampled again to attempt to recover any L. monocytogenes that had been transferred to these surfaces. L. monocytogenes isolates detected in cooked product due to this plant's extensive ongoing self testing will be made available and held as part of the collection. A sequence based subtyping (SBT) method will be developed to molecularly characterize isolates. We will then be able to apply SBT to the hundreds of L. monocytogenes isolates that we expect to collect so that the organism can be traced in the processing plant environment.

Meinersmann, Richard
University of Georgia
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