The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), Arlington, Va., announced a new collaboration with Mérieux NutriSciences, Chicago, to develop a food safety program that measures the implementation of AFFI’s best food safety practices for environmental monitoring. The program is designed to reduce the prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in frozen food facilities.

Mérieux NutriSciences will offer Lm testing and analysis to monitor pathogen control progress in frozen food facilities. In addition, AFFI and Mérieux NutriSciences will provide blinded, high-level data aggregation, so companies will be able to see how their facilities perform relative to industry peers. This industry-level analysis will allow AFFI to identify trends and provide real-time response.

“This partnership represents AFFI’s commitment to advancing food safety,” says Alison Bodor, AFFI president and CEO. “Understanding and promoting the best sampling and testing for Lm will foster better education and training resources for our members.”

The program will also provide data to assess progress of Lm control systems within specific frozen food categories, such as frozen fruits, vegetables, breakfast items and entrées.

“We are excited to partner with AFFI on their latest food safety program,” says Jim Mill, president, North America, Mérieux NutriSciences. “They are doing great things for their members, and have a solid plan in place to get the frozen food industry recognized as leaders in food safety and quality. As partners with similar missions, we are happy to be able to support them in whatever capacity.”