Approaches to Listeria testing debated at United Fresh Produce Association

A session at the United Fresh Produce Association’s annual expo and conference, asked: Should produce processors test food contact surfaces for Listeria? Panelists said that the Food and Drug Administration’s draft guidance about testing food contact surfaces are not clear about where the guidance stops and where regulation begins. Brian Zomorodi, vice president of quality and food safety at Apio, Guadalupe, Calif. Said: “I think the requirement of zone one (food contact surfaces) testing is controversial because we can’t do anything with the product to makes sure there is nothing there. There is no kill step.” Those who choose not to test zone one must be able to make the case to FDA why they don’t. Only a few attendees said that they were testing zone 1 for Listeria. While Listeria occurs naturally in the agricultural environment, the goal is to prevent it from becoming established. A positive find could result in an expensive shutdown of the facility or the likelihood of recalls or disposal of the product. Attendees suggested testing for listeria before operations begin, testing while water but not produce is moving through the line or testing after a production break.@
Listeria testing approach debated at United Fresh

CHICAGO — Should produce processors test food contact surfaces for listeria?

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