Listeria is a deadly bacterium found in unpasteurized dairy products, raw vegetables and meats, and processed foods, including deli meats and hot dogs. A recent outbreak of listeriosis claimed at least 20 lives and left several others sick.
To safeguard the public, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is proposing new rules for Listeria testing. The proposed new rules include two new tests that food processing plants would have to perform:
- Testing for Listeria near production lines such as ceilings and floors
- Testing for Listeria on surfaces that come in contact with meat, including countertops and slicing machines.
If Listeria monocytogenes is detected, the company would have to place the meat in quarantine, clean the facilities and then re-test. If a re-test comes up positive, the company would have to test a random sample of the quarantined meat for Listeria.
If the quarantined meat tests positive, it would have to be destroyed.
The new rules would also require companies to report positive Listeria findings to CFIA.
Click CFIA to launch new listeria testing protocols for more details.