‘The role of food safety staff must go beyond compliance and keeping the regulatory guys happy,’ said Suresh DeCosta, Director of Food Safety, Lipman Family Farms (USA) and Technical Committee, Center for Produce Safety (USA), at the 5th Annual Fresh Produce Safety Conference in Sydney last week.
The number of deaths from the 2017 listeriosis outbreak in South Africa reached 216, making it the most lethal outbreak in history. The source was cured meats.
On a much smaller scale, Australia recently experienced lethal outbreaks traced to cheese and rockmelons. While the number of recorded hospitalised cases in Australia is low – around 70 a year – Listeria continues to be a major problem for the food industry, and a priority theme for the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand.
Microbiologist Dr Robert Premier explained there are 17 species of Listeria but most are harmless and only two are implicated in human infections. Read more