Microbiological criteria for Listeria monocytogenes in foods under special consideration of risk assessment approaches

Birgit Nørrung

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This paper shortly summarizes data related to risk assessment of Listeria monocytogenes. From available data on risk assessment, it is concluded that the levels of L. monocytogenes consumed is an important factor affecting the incidence of listeriosis. Foods that do not support the growth of L. monocytogenes are unlikely to be a source of listeriosis, whereas foods that support the growth to high levels, should be the target of risk management efforts. Based on current epidemiological information from several countries, a concentration of L. monocytogenes not exceeding 100/g of food at the time of consumption is of low risk to the consumers. In order not to exceed these levels at the point of consumption, lower levels may need to be applied at the port of entry, for those foods in which growth can occur within the shelf life. In order to establish such levels, knowledge of the shelf life and behaviour of L. monocytogenes in the food during prevailing storage and distribution conditions is needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)217-221
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • food safety
  • microbiological criteria
  • risk assessment

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