Predicting the risk of Listeria monocytogenes outgrowth, especially for ready-to-eat foods and drinks
Listeria is a constant concern for the food industry and for regulators, as it can cause the serious illness listeriosis. While this pathogen is inactivated by heating, there is still a risk that it can contaminate a finished product post-processing, for instance upon contact with processing equipment, transportation belts, or during slicing, filling, packaging, etc. It is critical to understand whether and how the food product you are developing can support the growth of Listeria – especially for ready-to-eat products that are generally not heated before consumption. The microbiological criteria for release are very strict for ready-to-eat products, but even more so when the product can support Listeria monocytogenes growth.
In addition, when L. monocytogenes is encountered in production environments, it is crucial to tailor your preventive measures to the specific sub-species. NIZO can characterise sub-species with the highest level of resolution.
By modelling the inactivation and growth of Listeria monocytogenes, NIZO can determine whether the product you are developing is at risk to support the growth of the pathogen – before you finalise your process and formulation. And we can validate your Listeria bio-protection system to ensure that it is robust enough to meet market requirements.
Assess the microbial safety of your cheese through our lactic acid calculation model! Use our model to evaluate the microbial safety of your cheese product. The model calculates the amount of undissociated lactic acid against the cut-off value for inhibition of L. monocytogenes. The outcome states if your cheese is inherently safe or not, based only on its lactic acid content.