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Listeria monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes is recognized as a pathogen of concern in fresh produce handling and processing operations. While it may be isolated from produce growing environments, the potential for contamination and entrenchment in equipment heightens the need for operations to have strong environmental monitoring and sanitation control programs. Through training workshops and the development of guidance documents and various technical resources, United Fresh and members of our Food Safety and Technology Council strive to provide continuous support to the fresh produce industry on Listeria monitoring and control

For more information about Listeria resources, contact Dr. Jennifer McEntire or Dr. Emily Griep.

Listeria Learning Lab

Is your company engaged in the fight against Listeria? Are you willing to share your knowledge with the industry through a fun, interactive experience? Contact us today to brand yourself as an industry leader with our Listeria Learning Lab!

Listeria Learning Lab Exhibitors will have the opportunity to engage with convention attendees in a unique, off-the-show-floor experience, featuring hands-on lessons and activities created by your company, enhancing learning opportunities at the 2019 United Fresh Convention and Expo in Chicago, IL on June 11, 2019!

This event will be widely promoted and anyone with a 2019 Expo pass is welcome to attend the Lab! While you aren’t permitted to eat or drink in most labs, this event will include a reception & bar for the Food Safety Community, sponsored by GLOBAL G.A.P.

Sponsors & Activities:

Deville Technologies
Dismantle Deville Equipment
Last year you met it, now you can take it apart! This year’s activity will allow participants to completely dismantle a Deville Conveyor while our moderators explain the significance of the design vis-à-vis food buildup and bacteria growth.

Heinzen Manufacturing & Channelized Solutions
Sanitary Design: Blue Sky to Legacy
There are always questions around sanitary design, from how should I design this equipment to how can I fix it? Come see some examples of common legacy findings and some captured “tribal knowledge” of repairs. We have created tools for customer use and training and look forward to sharing some of our learnings.

Listeria Kahoot
How much do you know about listeria and cleaning and sanitation? Come compete with other participants to test your knowledge in a fast-paced game of Kahoot! The winners of each round will enter a drawing contest for a big prize. We will draw the winner’s name at our booth #15042 on the June 12th!

The Institute for Food Safety and Health
Listeria Trivia Challenge
A short educational power point slide show about listeria in produce and produce derived products will be shown followed by a short answer quiz with prizes awarded to top scorers, IFSH scientists will be present to field questions after the quiz to provide practical insights and suggestions to risk assessment and risk reduction for specific produce items presented as case studies.

Madison Chemical
Trouble Shooting Film Deposits
This game will focus on the importance of film deposits commonly found in plants and how to identify and remove them. It will also focus on why this is important to controlling biofilms.

Can I Get 60 Minute Listeria Results And NOT Be A Microbiologist?
Volunteer to execute the testing protocol for our innovative Listeria Right Now product and see how simple the test is to follow/execute from sample extraction through final result! We will demonstrate the simplicity of the process and how it is different from traditional testing and the limitations that are inherent with traditional testing.

Best Practices in Drain Hygiene
Drains are one of the most common sources of Listeria contamination in a produce processing facility. Participants will learn about best practices in drain hygiene, including a hands-on biofilm detection activity, a demonstration of drain foaming best practices and a brief tutorial on developing a drain program.

Upcoming Listeria Webinars

Manejo de Listeria en las Operaciones de Productos Agrícolas Frescos: Aspectos destacados de las actualizaciones de la Guía de Listeria de United Fresh
May 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm ET (11:00 am PT)

El enoque normativo y de salud pública sobre Listeria monocytogenes en productos agrícolas frescos ha llevado a la mayoría de la industria a implementar programas de monitoreo ambiental, a menudo haciendo referencia a la guía de la industria de Listeria de 2013 desarrollada por United Fresh. Dado el cambio en las regulaciones, el cambio en las políticas de la FDA y los nuevos hallazgos de investigación científica, el Consejo de Tecnología e Inocuidad de los Alimentos de United Fresh actualizó la guía de Listeria. Se añadieron más detalles sobre saneamiento y diseño sanitario, así como también una discusión mejorada de temas controversiales como los muestreos en la Zona 1 y producto terminado. Este webinar brindará una visión del extenso contenido sobre el tema que está disponible en la guía. Este webinar es parte de la serie de seminarios web sobre inocuidad de los alimentos y es patrocinado por Ecolab.

Register Today!

Listeria Training Resources

The Listeria Workshop

The Listeria Workshop will bring together attendees from various food companies, including growers, shippers, packers, retailers, suppliers and food safety consultants in the fresh produce industry. The Workshop itself will feature: general sessions on sanitary design, sanitation best practices and environmental monitoring with breakout sessions, panel discussions, case studies and much more! There will also be a networking reception event on the first night of the event and will feature table top displays from various industry exhibitors!

More workshops will be announced soon. To receive updates on when new courses are announced, complete this form.  

Listeria Workshop Information

Strategies for Listeria Control in Tree Fruit Packinghouses

Environmental contamination by Listeria monocytogenes poses a challenge within many packing or processing environments across the entire food industry. Recognizing the importance of preventing initial contamination of whole fruit and to keep their members amongst those at the forefront of food safety, the Washington State Tree Fruit Association proactively approached United Fresh Produce Association to collaborate on a Listeria and environmental monitoring training program specific for the tree fruit industry. Though the focus is on tree fruit within the pacific northwest (apples, pears, and cherries), this training document is applicable to a variety of tree fruit in any region.


United Fresh Listeria Guidance

Guidance on Environmental Monitoring and Control of Listeria for the Fresh Produce Industry (2nd Ed.)

Listeria monocytogenes is recognized as a pathogen of concern in fresh produce handling and processing operations. This guidance is intended to be applicable to all fresh and fresh-cut produce operations, including field and field packing, packinghouses, and other produce handling operations including re-pack, value-added and transport/distribution to retail/foodservice, recognizing that vulnerability to L. monocytogenes contamination and entrenchment in equipment or a facility will depend on the type(s) and production region of the commodities handled and the nature of the handling.

All produce handling operations are encouraged to use this guidance along with other resources 1) to determine their level of vulnerability to Listeria harborage that may lead to produce contamination and 2) if vulnerable, to develop and implement an effective Listeria monitoring and control program.


Echar un Vistazo- Consejos Sobre que Hacer y no Hacer Para Controlar el Riesgo de Listeria


FDA Guidance

Sanitation and Sanitary Design


Free e-learning modules on Hygienic Design by 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc. For more information, click here.

The following IFPA Sanitary Design document was created in 2003 for use by processing members in evaluating processing equipment for use in fresh-cut processing facilities. It informs processors about equipment features and assists them in choosing products that best meet their needs for proper sanitation, worker safety and processing efficiency.

The following three resources were created by Commercial Food Sanitation and represent the next evolution to the IFPA Sanitary Design guide. They are downloadable spreadsheets that can be used when purchasing equipment or evaluating a facility. There is no “right” or “cutoff” score; these are communication tools to understand the risks associated with certain designs so that the risks can be managed.

PSA “Name that Zone” Activity PowerPoint

In the PSA curriculum, the concept of zones is used to help growers identify areas that are food contact surfaces (Zone 1), next to food contact surfaces (Zone 2), in the processing area but not Zone 1 or 2 (Zone 3), and outside the processing area (Zone 4).  This tool helps reinforce how to identify these areas and begin to develop a sanitation program to meet regulatory expectations. The PowerPoint includes teaching and discussion notes for each one of the photos.

Other Sanitary Design Resources

Other Listeria Resources