Sites of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in a cold-smoked rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) processing plant were detected by sampling the production line, environment, and fish at different production stages. Two lots were monitored. The frequency of raw fish samples containing L. monocytogenes was low. During processing, the frequency of fish contaminated with L. monocytogenes clearly rose after brining, and the most contaminated sites of the processing plant were the brining and postbrining areas. A total of 303 isolates from the raw fish, product, and the environment were characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). PFGE yielded nine pulsotypes, which formed four clusters. The predominating L. monocytogenes pulsotypes of the final product were associated with brining and slicing, whereas contaminants of raw fish were not detected in the final product. Air-mediated contamination in the plant could not be proved. In accordance with these results, an L. monocytogenes eradication program was planned. The use of hot steam, hot air, and hot water seemed to be useful in eliminating L. monocytogenes. None of the control samples taken in the 5 months after the eradication program was implemented contained L. monocytogenes.
|Journal||Applied and Environmental Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|