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Distribution of Listeria monocytogenes Subtypes within a Poultry Further Processing Plant

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Samples from environmental sites and raw product in a chicken further processing plant were collected every 6 weeks for 12 months. Each sample site was examined before and after a complete production shift. All samples were examined for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes, which was detected in floor drains on the raw product side of the plant preoperation and in drains on both raw and cooked sides following 8 h of processing operation. L. monocytogenes also was detected in raw product and once in fully cooked product but never on cooked product contact surfaces. One hundred sixty-one isolates were collected from 75 positive samples. All isolates were subtyped using a sequence-based method, and 14 unique subtypes were detected through the course of the study. Four of these types were found repeatedly and appeared to be resident in the plant. Three of the four resident strains were detected on raw product at some point during the year-long study, suggesting that raw product may be one source of L. monocytogenes in the processing plant environment. These data highlight the need for research to investigate why some types of L. monocytogenes persist in a processing plant environment but others do not.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Russell Research Center, Athens, Georgia 30605, USA 2: Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA

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