A recent study assessed the presence and persistence of Listeria monocytogenes in Danish ready-to-eat (RTE) food production environments to evaluate the efficacy of a Listeria awareness campaign. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis was also performed to characterize the isolates.
A pervasive trend exists to take larger and more frequent samples to address microbial contamination. This trend has touched almonds and is expected to hit other nut products, which can be considered for aggregated sampling as a solution.
Ready-to-eat (RTE) foods have been processed so that they can be safely consumed without the need for further heat treatment and minimal to no further preparation. Many of the technologies adopted by the private sector to develop and manufacture RTE foods for consumers were created and first commercialized by the U.S. Armed Forces.
A multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections associated with meat and cheese from deli counters has resulted in 13 hospitalizations, one death, and one miscarriage. The foodborne illness outbreak is under investigation.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently published two reports—one on control measures for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in meat and dairy products, and another reviewing Listeria monocytogenes attribution, characterization, and monitoring in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods.
A recent study has estimated that removing products with a concentration of Listeria monocytogenes higher than 1 CFU/g could greatly reduce food contamination and associated foodborne illness cases. The study also found ready-to-eat (RTE) foods to be of greatest concern.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published the report, “Ranking of Low-Moisture Foods in Support of Microbiological Risk Management.”
Food companies that prepare fresh food items often source individual ingredients from primary suppliers. The food safety risk is typically controlled at primary supplier plants or farms; however, the food safety stakes are high. It is necessary to have "boots on the ground" to assess how food safety and quality programs are integrated with the front-line operation for those suppliers who mitigate food safety risk on the behalf of a receiving company.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly shifted consumer demand away from restaurants and foodservice to home meals and ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products. As a complement for more convenience-type items, consumers began focusing on product expiration dates to limit trips to retail markets. Combined with consumers' nutritional focus on sugar, sodium, fat content, and additives, meeting these expectations and requirements is a serious challenge for meat and poultry processors. The most common challenges for reformulation are reduction of sodium and replacing additives such as nitrite and preservatives.