Information – FSIS Best Practices Guidance for Controlling Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in Retail Delicatessens

FSIS USDA

This guidance document provides specific recommendations for actions that retailers can take in the delicatessen (deli) area to control Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) contamination of ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products.  This document is also available in PDF format. These materials highlight recommendations that are based on an evaluation of retail conditions and practices in the Interagency Risk Assessment–Listeria monocytogenes in Retail Delicatessens (Interagency Retail Lm Risk Assessment).  In addition, FSIS has included information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code, scientific literature, other guidance documents, and lessons learned from Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) verification sampling and review of sanitation programs for Lm in meat and poultry processing establishments.

This version of the guidance document replaces the previous version of the document which was issued and announced in the Federal Register (79 FR 22082; April 21, 2014).  FSIS updated this guidance based on comments received during the public comment period, which closed on June 20, 2014.  FSIS made the following changes in response to comments:

  • Clarified that food processing equipment should be disassembled during cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Added a recommendation that retailers scrub surfaces during cleaning to prevent biofilm formation.
  • Clarified that retailers should rotate (change) sanitizers to help prevent Lm from establishing niches in the environment and forming biofilms.
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