NZ Ministry for Primary Industries: This fact sheet provides general advice to processors of certain ready-to-eat (RTE) food (e.g. fresh leafy salads, fresh fruit salads, sprouted seeds and smoked and gravadlax seafood) in applying the microbiological limits for Listeria monocytogenes in RTE foods in accordance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Food Standards Code) Standard 1.61.

Occasional low level contamination of such products by L. monocytogenes may be unavoidable but may not present a risk provided that growth cannot occur and there is less than 100 cfu/g within the stated shelf life.

If evidence can be provided that the level of L. monocytogenes would be less than 100 cfu/g throughout the stated shelf life, then a limit of 100 cfu/g applies for the purpose of Standard 1.6.1.

Where evidence of limited growth cannot be provided the default limit of absence of L. monocytogenes in 25g will continue to apply to any RTE food that is intended for sale or on sale during the shelf life of the food.

If you are able to apply the limit of less than 100 cfu/g of L. monocytogenes in the RTE food, then the remainder of this factsheet explains what you need to do.

Click here to access this fact sheet from the Ministry for Primary Industries.