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Foods 2017, 6(3), 21; doi:10.3390/foods6030021

Listeria monocytogenes in Fresh Produce: Outbreaks, Prevalence and Contamination Levels

Department of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, Canterbury, New Zealand
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christopher J. Smith
Received: 19 October 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial, Chemical and Physical Contamination of Food Products)
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Abstract

Listeria monocytogenes, a member of the genus Listeria, is widely distributed in agricultural environments, such as soil, manure and water. This organism is a recognized foodborne pathogenic bacterium that causes many diseases, from mild gastroenteritis to severe blood and/or central nervous system infections, as well as abortion in pregnant women. Generally, processed ready-to-eat and cold-stored meat and dairy products are considered high-risk foods for L. monocytogenes infections that cause human illness (listeriosis). However, recently, several listeriosis outbreaks have been linked to fresh produce contamination around the world. Additionally, many studies have detected L. monocytogenes in fresh produce samples and even in some minimally processed vegetables. Thus L. monocytogenes may contaminate fresh produce if present in the growing environment (soil and water). Prevention of biofilm formation is an important control measure to reduce the prevalence and survival of L. monocytogenes in growing environments and on fresh produce. This article specifically focuses on fresh produce–associated listeriosis outbreaks, prevalence in growing environments, contamination levels of fresh produce, and associated fresh produce safety challenges. View Full-Text
Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes; fresh produce; foodborne pathogen; contamination; listeriosis Listeria monocytogenes; fresh produce; foodborne pathogen; contamination; listeriosis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhu, Q.; Gooneratne, R.; Hussain, M.A. Listeria monocytogenes in Fresh Produce: Outbreaks, Prevalence and Contamination Levels. Foods 2017, 6, 21.

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