The Consultation made the following recommendations:
- Microbiological criteria for L. monocytogenes in foods should be harmonized, risk
based and only used on ready-to-eat high risk products which can support growth of the
- For the purpose of setting standards it should be accepted that it is not possible to
produce certain fishery products consistently free of L. monocytogenes.
- Food quality and safety assurance systems based on GHP/HACCP principles should be
developed and implemented to reduce the potential for L. monocytogenes colonization
of the processing environment. Research should be undertaken to understand the mechanisms
by which L. monocytogenes adheres to product and processing equipment and how best
to inactivate/remove adhered cells.
- Uniform sampling plans and a standard method for the enumeration of L. monocytogenes
in fishery products should be developed. This should be considered in the work programme
of Codex or some other international body.
- Consensus should be sought on acceptable probabilities of contamination of fishery
products with L. monocytogenes, from which decimal reduction values appropriate to
specific commodities can be developed.
- The potential for L. monocytogenes growth should be considered in setting the
shelf-life of products such as cold smoked fish.
- Labels on fishery products should include recommended specific storage temperatures and
- Laboratory-based surveillance systems should be developed to determine the incidence of
listeriosis in populations at risk, to detect and investigate outbreaks of the disease,
and to study its foodborne transmission.
- The role of healthy carriers, approximately 46% of the healthy population, in the
epidemiology of listeriosis should be studied.
- Risk communication to vulnerable groups, and consumer education, should be implemented
as part of a risk management strategy. As a priority, this should include advice to
vulnerable groups on avoidance of certain types of foods as well as on safe food handling