Listeria resources

MPI's project reports for the bacterial pathogen Listeria include attribution, baseline food and environmental surveys, growth and inactivation kinetics, and control measures. Find a list of publications, documents, guidance and associated research projects relating to Listeria.

Listeria strategy

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.

Listeria fact sheets

These fact sheets provide information on Listeria and key good operating practices for the management and control of Listeria in the processing environment.

Microbiological limits for Listeria in food

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.

 

Food Microorganism/test n c m
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.

Related documents

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.

Training resource and video

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.

Listeria in ready-to-eat foods [PDF, 7.3 MB]

Guide to the Listeria training resource [PDF, 609 KB]

Video

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.

Listeria guidance material

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

Research projects

MPI creates annual foodborne illness reports that cover and listeriosis.

Research documents

Expand All
Resuscitation putative viable research project final report (June 2008)
Report
Defining "Short shelf life" foods with respect to risk from Listeria monocytogenes - Final report September 2010
Report
Microbiological survey of retail fresh produce of imported domestic conventional and domestic organic origin - Final report September 2009
Report
Discussion document on pathogens in fruits and vegetables in New Zealand
Report
Risks associated with bacterial pathogens in exported fruit and vegetables
Report
Pilot microbiological survey of processed animal feeds
Technical paper
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