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Assessment of Control Measures To Achieve a Food Safety Objective of Less than 100 CFU of Listeria monocytogenes per Gram at the Point of Consumption for Fresh Precut Iceberg Lettuce

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Abstract:

The important new concept of the food safety objective (FSO) offers a strategy to translate public health risk into a definable goal such as a specified maximum frequency or concentration of a hazardous agent in a food at the time of consumption that is deemed to provide an appropriate level of health protection. For the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, there is a proposed FSO of <100 CFU/g in ready-to-eat (RTE) products at the time of consumption. Fresh precut iceberg lettuce is one of these RTE products. In this study, we worked with a commercial manufacturer to evaluate the effectiveness of two antimicrobial washing agents (sodium hypochlorite and a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and peroxyacetic acid) against L. monocytogenes under simulated fresh precut washing conditions and evaluated the growth potential of this pathogen on lettuce packaged in a gas-permeable film and stored at 4 or 8°C for 14 days. We used the results of this experiment to demonstrate how the commercial manufacturer could meet the FSO for L. monocytogenes in fresh precut lettuce through the application of performance, process, and microbiological criteria.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Science Australia, P.O. Box 52, North Ryde, New South Wales 1670, Australia; Cooperative for Center for International Food Manufacture and Packaging Science, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia 2: Food Science Australia, Werribee Laboratories, Victoria, Australia; Cooperative Research Center for International Food Manufacture and Packaging Science, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia 3: Food Science Australia, P.O. Box 52, North Ryde, New South Wales 1670, Australia; Cooperative Research Center for International Food Manufacture and Packaging Science, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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