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Confused by the limits specified for Listeria M.


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AdamR

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:32 PM

Hi,

 

I am looking at the Microbiological criteria for RTE foods Regulation 2073/05, and am a bit confused by the limits specified for Listeria M.

 

If food is able to support growth of LM, a 100cfu/g limit applies for the shelf life.  The food business must be able to demonstrate this.  If they can't, then the criteria is an absence in 25g before food has left the manufacturer.  My question is how do you prove there is none in 25g?  Does this mean testing every batch you produce, and not letting it go until you've had absence confirmed?

 

Another confusion, if food is unable to support growth of LM, then a 100cfu/g limit applies throughout the shelf life.  Does this also need to be demonstrated through shelf life studies?  or do you not need to demonstrate this as LM will not grow in it?

 

Any info would be appreciated.

 

Cheers



Tony-C

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:58 PM

Hi,

 

I am looking at the Microbiological criteria for RTE foods Regulation 2073/05, and am a bit confused by the limits specified for Listeria M.

 

If food is able to support growth of LM, a 100cfu/g limit applies for the shelf life.  The food business must be able to demonstrate this.  If they can't, then the criteria is an absence in 25g before food has left the manufacturer.  My question is how do you prove there is none in 25g?  Does this mean testing every batch you produce, and not letting it go until you've had absence confirmed?

 

Another confusion, if food is unable to support growth of LM, then a 100cfu/g limit applies throughout the shelf life.  Does this also need to be demonstrated through shelf life studies?  or do you not need to demonstrate this as LM will not grow in it?

 

Any info would be appreciated.

 

Cheers

 

Hi Adam,

 

A lot of the time it is not practical to test every batch and positive release RTE products. It would be expected that you have adequate controls in place to prevent Listeria contamination of product.

 

What you should have is a sample plan for the product proportionate to risk and also a plan for the sampling of processing areas and equipment for Listeria monocytogenes, the idea is you pick up Listeria in the environment before it has opportunity to contaminate the product. Your sample results should demonstrate your products consistently meet the requirements when manufactured and at end of life.

 

Your shelf life studies should also demonstrate a maximum level of Listeria monocytogenes of 100/g at the end of life or for RTE intended for infants or special medical purposes absent in 25 g at the end of life.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



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