How can you keep Listeria from negatively impacting food safety in your restaurant? Dave Shumaker, Microbiologist


What is Listeriosis? Download Chart >

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), defines Listeria as follows:

A bacterium found in soil and water that primarily affects those with weakened immune systems more than other groups.

  • Most infections are transmitted by eating contaminated or unpasteurized food items.

  • Avoiding unpasteurized foods, washing produce thoroughly and cooking meats to the correct temperature can help prevent an outbreak of Listeria.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Controlling Listeria in Ready-to-Eat Foods

Listeria is one of the most common foodborne illnesses, and affects millions of Americans every year. The FDA has recently released an industry guidance document for comments, as they work to develop a plan to help combat these pathogens in our food supply. This guidance is intended to help producers and restaurant workers to learn about and help reduce the risk of outbreak from Listeria.


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The Facts on Listeria

Listeria is a common foodborne pathogen that occurs naturally in soil, high-moisture areas and decaying vegetation. It affects approximately 1,600 people each year, and is a very hearty bacterium, able to withstand cool temperatures and otherwise unfriendly environments. Most outbreaks come from packaged foods, such as bagged salad, dairy products and other ready-to-eat goods.

Source: Steritech

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Information About Listeria

Although it’s not one of the more common foodborne illnesses, what makes listeria monocytogenes unique is how dangerous it is on a per-case basis. According to research, around 94 percent of listeriosis cases are hospitalized, which is higher than other foodborne pathogens. Learning and understanding this illness can help identify potential risks, and inform a response in the event of an outbreak. 

Source: Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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