On this page:
- Listeria strategy
- Fact sheets
- Microbiological limits for Listeria in food
- Training resource and video
- Guidance material
- Research projects
- Research documents
A comprehensive programme of work under the Risk management strategy was undertaken by MPI from 2008 to 2015. The objective of the strategy was to estimate the proportion of cases of listeriosis attributable to foods, and to identify, implement and evaluate effective control measures. The output of the strategy included results from research projects and the development of resources to assist food operators, third party auditors, evaluators and food safety consultants.
These fact sheets provide information on Listeria and key good operating practices for the management and control of Listeria in the processing environment.
- Listeria monocytogenes and ready-to-eat foods [PDF, 408 KB]
- Listeria control measures [PDF, 210 KB]
- Cleaning and sanitising [PDF, 313 KB]
- Environmental testing for Listeria [PDF, 454 KB]
- Testing product for Listeria monocytogenes [PDF, 331 KB]
The microbiological criteria for L. monocytogenes have been revised in the Food Standards Code 1.6.1 – Microbiological Limits for Food. Schedule 27 - Microbiological Limits in Food specifies end point microbiological limits (i.e. measured at the end of a product’s shelf life) for Listeria monocytogenes in all types of RTE foods based on whether growth of the microorganism can occur.
|Ready-to-eat food in which growth of Listeria monocytogenes will not occur||Listeria monocytogenes||5||0||100 cfu/g|
|Ready-to-eat food in which growth of Listeria monocytogenes can occur||Listeria monocytogenes||5||0||Not detected in 25g|
It is expected that most operators will continue to apply the limit of Listeria monocytogenes not detected in 25g when testing product regardless of the changes in Standard 1.6.1. This is because it can be difficult to confirm that growth will not occur and when testing product, finding any Listeria monocytogenes may indicate that the process or product controls have not been fully effective.
This fact sheet provides general advice to processors of ready-to-eat (RTE) food in applying the microbiological limits for Listeria monocytogenes in RTE foods in accordance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code Standard 1.6.1.
This fact sheet provides general advice to processors of certain ready-to-eat (RTE) food (for example, fresh leafy salads, fresh fruit salads, sprouted seeds and smoked and gravadlax seafood) in applying the microbiological limits for Listeria monocytogenes in RTE foods in accordance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code Standard 1.6.1.
- Fact sheet for microbiological limits for L. monocytogenes in fresh leafy salads, fresh fruit salads, sprouted seeds and smoked and gravadlax seafood [PDF, 134 KB]
The Listeria in ready-to-eat foods training resource has been developed to help risk management programme operators and their staff understand Listeria management. The training resource covers:
- what Listeria is
- why Listeria needs to be controlled and how this is achieved
- how to prevent contamination.
2017 Listeria in ready-to-eat foods [PDF, 7.3 MB]
- Guide to the Listeria training resource [PDF, 609 KB]
The Swabbing for Listeria video has been developed to help risk management programme operators create an environmental testing programme. The video provides instructions on how to collect environmental samples from the processing area for Listeria testing.
This material provides information on the characteristics of its sources, how it may enter the processing environment, and the consequences of food contamination. It also provides guidance material on the management and control of Listeria including specific good operating practices, microbiological testing and responses when Listeria monocytogenes is detected in the product or processing area.
Guidance for the control of Listeria monocytogenes in RTE foods
- Part 1: Listeria management and glossary [PDF, 619 KB]
- Part 2: Good operating practices [PDF, 1 MB]
- Part 3: Monitoring activities [PDF, 1.3 MB]
- Part 4: Corrective actions [PDF, 811 KB]
MPI creates annual foodborne illness reports that cover and listeriosis.
While disease caused by this organism is uncommon, the clinical consequences are often
serious. Two forms of disease are now recognised; a serious invasive disease and a non-invasive gastroenteritis. It grows at refrigeration temperatures in the presence or absence of air.
The purpose of a Risk Profile is to provide contextual and background information relevant to a food/hazard combination so that risk managers can make decisions and, if necessary, take further action. Risk Profiles include elements of a qualitative risk assessment, as well as providing information relevant to risk management. Risk profiling may result in a range of activities e.g. immediate risk management action, quantitative risk assessment, or a programme to gather more data. Risk Profiles also provide information for ranking of food safety issues.
The NZFSA Statement of Intent 2008-2011 identifies control of Listeria monocytogenes as a strategic priority, with the performance indicator being no increase in cases of listeriosis after five years. This Risk Profile is intended to help inform the NZFSA Listeria monocytogenes Risk Management Strategy, and to provide a scientific underpinning for associated risk management measures. It is an update of a previous document completed in 2002, and describes the risk to New Zealand consumers from Listeria monocytogenes in processed ready-to-eat meats.
The purpose of a Risk Profile is to provide contextual and background information relevant to a food/hazard combination so that risk managers can make decisions and, if necessary, take further action. The place of a risk profile in the risk management process is described in “Food Administration in New Zealand: A Risk Management Framework for Food Safety” (Ministry of Health/Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 2000). Figure 1 outlines the risk management process.
Report of a microbiological survey of foodborne pathogens in pre-packaged (bagged) fresh-cut ready-to-eat leafy salads.
Report on the microbiological quality of hydroponically grown vegetables from throughout New Zealand.
General advice to processors of certain ready-to-eat (RTE) food in applying the microbiological limits for Listeria monocytogenes in RTE foods in accordance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Food Standards Code) Standard 1.61.
General advice for processors of ready-to-eat food in applying microbiological limits of L. Monocytogenes in accordance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
The food/hazard combination addressed by this risk profile is Salmonella (non-typhoidal) in pork and pork products.
A report to determine what scientific evidence was available to support sous vide cooking of meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
Update of a report made in 2011, with surveillance data for the 2013 year and updated estimates.
Risk profiles provide background information on combinations of foods and hazards, to help risk managers in their decision-making. Risk profiling may result in a range of activities, such as immediate risk management action, quantitative risk assessment, or a programme to gather more data. This risk profile covers Listeria monocytogenes in low-moisture cheeses.
An investigation into the effect of milk time and temperature storage variables, together with internal mould ripening, on the survival and growth of Listeria monocytogenes during soft cheese production.
Report of a microbiological survey of foodborne pathogens in ready-to-eat (RTE) packaged seed sprouts and shoots.
A total of 307 products were collected from January to December 2012 from retailers in three major cities.