The prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in retail roe, as well as the microbiological and sensory qualities of the roe, were studied for three fish species under three different storage conditions. A total of 147 Finnish rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus), vendace (Coregonus albula), and burbot (Lota lota) roe samples were bought fresh, frozen, or frozen-thawed from Finnish retail markets. The overall prevalence of L. monocytogenes was 5%; however, the prevalence of the pathogen in fresh roe was 18%. Fresh-bought roe tested positive for Listeria spp. and for L. monocytogenes, respectively, 5 and 20 times as often as did frozen and frozen-thawed roe products combined. The microbiological quality (analyzed as total aerobic heterotrophic bacteria and coliform bacteria) of 78% of the roe samples was unacceptable. Frozen roe samples were found to have the best microbiological quality. According to the results of a sensory evaluation, at least one sensory attribute (appearance, odor freshness, texture, and freshness of taste) was unacceptable for 29% of the roe samples studied. The sensory quality of roe samples bought fresh was better than that of roe samples bought frozen or frozen-thawed. From the results of this study, it is concluded that both the microbiological and the sensory qualities of roe at the retail level need to be improved.
Miettinen, H., Arvola, A., Luoma, T., & Wirtanen, G. (2003). Prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in, and microbiological and sensory quality of, rainbow trout, whitefish, and vendace roes from Finnish retail markets. Journal of Food Protection, 66(10), 1832-1839. https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X-66.10.1832