Evaluation of surface contamination and the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in fish processing factories

Hanna Miettinen (Corresponding Author), Kaarina Aarnisalo, Satu Salo, Anna-Maija Sjöberg

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    50 Citations (Scopus)


    The main objective of this study was to determine the level of surface contamination in fish processing factories and the presence of Listeria in the factory environment and products. Another objective was evaluation of the different hygiene-monitoring methods. Total aerobic heterotrophic and enterobacteria, yeast and mold samples were collected and ATP levels measured in 28 factories. The number of well or adequately washed and disinfected factories was small (2 of 28), in terms of total aerobic heterotrophic bacterial counts on the surfaces. Most surfaces contaminated with bacteria were heavily contaminated. Results of the ATP and the total bacteria contact agar slide methods were poorly correlated (r = 0.21) although 68% of the samples were categorized as good to moderate or unacceptable with both methods. The Listeria-positive surface samples usually contained increased numbers of total bacteria (70.9%). The contamination of products and raw fish together with Listeria spp. was 45% and with Listeria monocytogenes 12%. Cold smoked fish was the most contaminated, with 75% Listeria spp. and cold salted fish with 20% L. monocytogenes. Listeria innocua was found in the samples more than twice as often as L. monocytogenes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)635-639
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Food Protection
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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