Skip to main content

Quantitative Risk Assessment for Listeria monocytogenes in Selected Categories of Deli Meats: Impact of Lactate and Diacetate on Listeriosis Cases and Deaths

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Foodborne disease associated with consumption of ready-to-eat foods contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes represents a considerable pubic health concern. In a risk assessment published in 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service estimated that about 90% of human listeriosis cases in the United States are caused by consumption of contaminated deli meats. In this risk assessment, all deli meats were grouped into one of 23 categories of ready-to-eat foods, and only the postretail growth of L. monocytogenes was considered. To provide an improved risk assessment for L. monocytogenes in deli meats, we developed a revised risk assessment that (i) models risk for three subcategories of deli meats (i.e., ham, turkey, and roast beef) and (ii) models L. monocytogenes contamination and growth from production to consumption while considering subcategory-specific growth kinetics parameters (i.e., lag phase and exponential growth rate). This model also was used to assess how reformulation of the chosen deli meat subcategories with L. monocytogenes growth inhibitors (i.e., lactate and diacetate) would impact the number of human listeriosis cases. Use of product-specific growth parameters demonstrated how certain deli meat categories differ in the relative risk of causing listeriosis; products that support more rapid growth and have reduced lag phases (e.g., turkey) represent a higher risk. Although reformulation of deli meats with growth inhibitors was estimated to reduce by about 2.5- to 7.8-fold the number of human listeriosis cases linked to a given deli meat subcategory and thus would reduce the overall risk of human listeriosis, even with reformulation deli meats would still cause a considerable number of human listeriosis cases. A combination of strategies is thus needed to provide continued reduction of these cases. Risk assessment models such as that described here will be critical for evaluation of different control approaches and to help define the combinations of control strategies that will have the greatest impact on public health.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA 2: Center for Meat Safety and Quality, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA 3: Department of Food Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    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.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more