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Monika Kurpas, Kinga Wieczorek and Jacek Osek

Abstract

In 2015 in the European Union member states listeriosis caused 270 deaths. Food is the route of transmission in 99% of all human infection cases. Several studies from different countries have shown that the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in food can be as high as 58.3%. One of the most important ways to protect food from these microorganisms is to prevent the spread of the bacteria at processing plants at different stages of food production chain. The ability of L. monocytogenes to survive in extreme conditions and to form biofilms on various surfaces is a significant challenge for food safety. Removal of these bacteria from niches in processing plants is difficult and requires the use of sanitisers and precise equipment cleaning. The presence of L. monocytogenes in processing environment at slaughterhouses, deli meat factories or in retail may be a reason of cross-contamination. Proper hygienic systems applied by workers in food preparing places and knowledge about different routes of spreading of these bacteria may effectively decrease the risk of food contamination. Standardised legal regulations and control of meat product manufacture should be a fundamental way to protect food from L. monocytogenes contamination.