There’s a lot of pathogens and bacteria that can be passed on though food. One particularly big one in the food industry is Listeria, a gram positive, non-spore-forming motile foodborne pathogen. It can be especially present in ready-to-eat food production.
How can you control listeria in your food production?
1. Prevention of re-contamination: Contamination with it after processing (CCP) and before packaging may occur if processing conditions are not controlled properly.
2. Specifications for ingredients: Bakeries must establish microbial specifications, absence/presence and limits for different microorganisms. These should be communicated in ingredients spec sheets.
3. Ingredients suppliers: A certificate of analysis (COA) that confirms the absence of this pathogen should always accompany shipments or batches of an ingredient sent to the bakery.
4. Prevention of biofilm formation: It can become a big issue in improperly cleaned stainless steel closed systems. For example, piping, pumps and tanks. Listeria within a biofilm can be 1,000 times more resistant to sanitizers when compared to its freely dispersed form in solution. CIP cycles may not be enough to remove the tightly adhered biofilm that bacteria colonies create. This situation may cause a recurrent contamination scenario.
What should your HACCP plan look like? Find out.