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Cross contamination during slicing of a ready-to-eat meat product: focus on Listeria monocytogenes

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Daniele Bezerra Faria
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Conjunto das Químicas (IQ e FCF) (CQ/DBDCQ)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Bernadette Dora Gombossy de Melo Franco; Cecilia Geraldes Martins; Deise Helena Baggio Ribeiro
Advisor: Bernadette Dora Gombossy de Melo Franco

Outbreaks and cases of listeriosis reported worldwide and associated to ready-to-eat meat products may have been caused by cross contamination with Listeria monocytogenes occurred during the slicing step of these products at retail. Considering the impact of cross-contamination to public health, this study aimed to study the transfer of L. monocytogenes during the slicing step of homemade type roast-beef simulating in the laboratory scenarios seen in commercial establishments. The study also aimed to evaluate the role of product contamination level (low and high) causing the experimental contamination of the slicer in the resulting cross-contamination and to evaluate if the exposure of the L. monocytogenes strain to a sanitizer in insufficient concentration for the elimination influences the observed cross-contamination. Contamination of the slicer was obtained through the slicing of roast-beef pieces experimentally contaminated with the pathogen by immersion in a suspension of L. monocytogenes containing 8 log CFU/ml (high contamination) and 4 log CFU/mL (low contamination). The experiments were carried out to obtain 200 slices. Enumerations of L. monocytogenes in the slices employed a culture-dependent method (ISO 11290-2: 1998) and qPCR method, also calculating transfer rates. The results showed that contamination of slicers resulted in the transfer of the pathogen to at least the 120th slice of a new piece of roast-beef sliced subsequently. In experiments conducted with L. monocytogenes exposed to the sanitizer Oasis Compac 22 Quat in insufficient concentration for its elimination, the pathogen could be enumerated until the 200th slice obtained after the slicer contamination, regardless of the contamination level of the roast beef used for contamination of the slicer. Mathematical equations describing the experimental data presented R2>0.7 and p<0.05, showing good fit. These results underscore the importance of measures to prevent the occurrence of cross contamination during the slicing step of ready-to-eat meat products, as well as the proper cleaning of the equipment used in order to provide safe products to the consumer. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/14526-7 - Cross-contamination of ready-to-eat meat products during slicing step in the retail market: risk of Listeria monocytogenes
Grantee:Daniele Bezerra Faria
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master