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Case study: Listeria monocytogenes in smoked fish

Background paper for the Joint FAO/WHO expert consultation on the development of risk management strategies based on microbiological risk assessment outputs - Kiel, Germany, 3-7 April 2006







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    Risk assessment of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods. Technical report. Microbiological Risk Assessment Series (MRA) 5 2004
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    Listeria monocytogenes is widely dispersed in the environment and foods, and is capable of growing even at refrigeration temperatures. Foodborne listeriosis, although relatively rare, is a clinically serious disease with a high case-fatality rate that largely affects specific higher-risk segments of the population. Cases of listeriosis appear to be predominately associated with ready-to-eat products. This volume addresses the risk of listeriosis associated with such foods. It has been prepar ed and reviewed by an international group of experts, with input from FAO/WHO expert consultations, the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene, and peer and public review. The sections in this volume include data and methodology relevant to the four steps of risk assessment – hazard identification, exposure assessment, hazard characterization and risk characterization – of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods. It includes four example risk assessments addressing the risk of listeriosis as sociated with fresh milk, ice cream, fermented meats and cold-smoked fish. These products were selected to represent typical classes of ready-to-eat products. This volume and others in this Microbiological Risk Assessment Series contain information that is useful to both risk assessors and risk managers, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, governments and food regulatory agencies, industries and other people or institutions with an interest in the area of Listeria monocytogenes, its impact o n public health and food trade, and the use microbiological risk assessment in control strategies.
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    Book (series)
    Risk assessment of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods. Interpretative Summary. Microbiological Risk Assessment Series (MRA) 4 2004
    Listeria monocytogenes is widely dispersed in the environment and foods, and is capable of growing even at refrigeration temperatures. Foodborne listeriosis, although relatively rare, is a clinically serious disease with a high case-fatality rate that largely affects specific higher-risk segments of the population. Cases of listeriosis appear to be predominately associated with ready-to-eat products. FAO and WHO have undertaken a risk assessment to addresses the risk of listeriosis associated with such foods and to answer specific risk management questions posed by the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH). This volume provides a summary of that risk assessment. The interpretative summary includes an overview of the risk assessment with a particular focus on information that would be relevant to risk managers faced with addressing problems posed by this pathogen in ready-to-eat foods. It includes answers to the specific risk management questions posed by the CCFH and outlines the issues to be considered when implementing control measures, including the establishment of microbiological criteria. This volume and others in this Microbiological Risk Assessment Series contain information that is useful to both risk assessors and risk managers, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, governments and food regulatory agencies, industries and other people or institutions with an interest in the area of Listeria monocytogenes, its impact on public health and food trade, and th e use of microbiological risk assessment in control strategies.
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    Report of the FAO Expert Consultation on the Trade Impact of Listeria in Fish Products. Amherst, MA, USA, 17-20 May 1999. 1999
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    The globalization and growth of international trade in fish and fishery products in recent years has made these products one of the most important items traded in terms of value. Concerns regarding the safety of these products has prompted the emergence of a number of new regulations such as a zero-tolerance policy for Listeria monocytogenes in fishery products or the use of a risk based approach to establish maximum limits for Listeria in these products. The paper describes the findings of the FAO Expert Consultation on the Trade Impact of Listeria in Fish Products, held in the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA from 17 to 20 May 1999. It documents the current scientific knowledge regarding the risks of listeriosis in relation to fishery products, discusses current regulations and their impact on trade and provides guidelines for the prevention and control of Listeria in these products.

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