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Listeria, Listeriosis and Food Safety.

During the last decade, various food scare stories came up, and one of them concerned Listeria and in particular Listeria monocytogenes. Such was the problem that there were fatalities in the USA. The outcry that followed ensured that the United States Food and Drug Administration initiated a series of Listeria surveillance programmes. The subsequent discovery of this pathogen in many varieties of cheese, ice cream and other dairy products ensured there were many product recalls. Great financial losses were suffered by manufacturers and the law suits began. Outbreaks also occurred in Switzerland and other cou ntries, and in each case the culprit was the same or a very similar pathogen.

Some 30 years ago a book on Listeria was published but of course there were no well documented cases of Listeria poisoning in those days. Whilst much of the old book is totally relevant, some of it is out-of-date, which is why this new text was needed, to bring the reader up to date with the latest information on this important subject. It would be true to say that there has been an 'explosion' of information on Listeria, brought about mainly by pressure to allay the public's fears. To overcome the problem of rapidly dating information, the authors have made sure there are numerous references to further reading. Most of these references concern material that has appeared since the text was completed.

Fifteen chapters are published here, their titles being: Listeria monocytogenes - characteristics and classification; Occurrence and survival of Listeria monocytogenes in natural environments; Listeriosis in animals; Listeriosis in humans; Characteristics of Listeria monocytogenes important to food processors; Conventional methods to detect and isolate Listeria monocytogenes in food and environmental samples; Foodborne listeriosis; Incidence and behaviour of Listeria monocytogenes in unfermented dairy products; Incidence and behaviour of Listeria monocytogenes in cheese and other fermented dairy products; Incidence and behaviour of Listeria monocytogenes in meat products; Incidence and behaviour of Listeria monocytogenes in poultry and egg products; Incidence and behaviour of Listeria monocytogenes in fish and seafood; Incidence and behaviour of Listeria monocytogenes in products of plant origin; Incidence and control of Listeria in food processing facilities; plus a couple of useful appendices.

Basically, this text gives helpful insights into the causes of listeriosis and documents some of the outbreaks.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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