Reducing water build-up on floors key to Listeria control
Spanish researchers analysing a cake-manufacturing facility found that non-food contacts areas such as the floor are a creeding ground for Listeria monocytongenes (LM), and that the pathogen can remain in such areas post sanitation.
The authors, writing in Food Control, argue that identification of LM survival points could be of value in terms of optimising pathogen control as part of a HACCP programme.
The microbiology experts found that sites that showed "systematic presence" of LM were the floor of the factory and objects in close contact with it including the sanitary barrier, shoe soles, equipment brackets, stair treads, and small pools of water.
LM was not detected on food contact surfaces, they continued.
Listeriosis is a food-bourne disease-causing bacterium can produce infections in susceptible polulations such as immuno-depressed people, infants and pregnant women.
The bacterium, LM, usually enters the food through raw materials, water and workers, say the Spanish team.
And the researcher point out that LM is quite resistant to the deleterious effects of freezing, drying, and heating, despite not forming endospores, and can grow between 0 and 45 ºC. It also survives for long periods in refrigerated, frozen and dried foods, they added, and shows a high tolerance to acidic conditions and high salt concentrations.
Foods that are more likely to be contaminated with LM include soft cheeses, dairy products, pâtés, sausages, smoked fish, salads, infant cereals, cakes, cream, butter and, in general, refrigerated read-to-eat products consumed without cooking or reheating, said the authors.
What is the solutions....? Presumably you've got to make CleanTrax coming into the building!
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The entry and spreading of dirst and moisture, via the wheels of fork trucks, trolleys and footwear is often underestimated in most work places. It typically starts at the doorway entrances and spreads into the workplace presenting a significant risk of contamination.
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