Purdue University research shows that standard cleaning procedures in retail delis may not eradicate Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which can cause a potentially fatal disease in people with vulnerable immune systems.
Purdue food scientist Haley Oliver (right) and Jess Buening, a senior in animal sciences, examine a meat slicer.
Credit:Purdue University / Tom Campbell
The study was a collaboration between researchers at Purdue University, Cornell University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria spp. Contamination Patterns in Retail Delicatessen Establishments in Three U.S. States. Journal of Food Protection®, Number 11, November 2014, pp. 1844-2003, pp. 1929-1939(11) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-14-183
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service provided funding for the research.
A second study that tested the virulence potential of the strains of L. monocytogenes found in retail delis was published in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. Persistent and Transient Listeria monocytogenes Strains from Retail Deli Environments Vary in Their Ability to Adhere and Form Biofilms and Rarely Have inlA Premature Stop Codons. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2015 Feb;12(2):151-8. Doi: 10.1089/fpd.2014.1837. Epub 2015 Jan 8. That research was funded by the Purdue University Food Marketing Institute and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service.