Factors associated with Listeria monocytogenes contamination of cold-smoked pork products produced in Latvia and Lithuania.Int J Food Microbiol. 2007 Apr 10; 115(2):173-9.IJ
A total of 312 samples of sliced, vacuum packaged, cold-smoked pork from 15 meat processing plants in Latvia and Lithuania, obtained over a 15-month period from 2003 until 2004, were analyzed for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes at the end of their shelf-life. Overall, 120 samples (38%) tested positive for L. monocytogenes. Despite the long storing period, the levels of L. monocytogenes in cold-smoked pork products were low. Manufacturing processes were studied at seven meat processing plants. A new approach with a logistic multivariable regression model was applied to identify the main factors associated with L. monocytogenes contamination during the manufacturing of cold-smoked pork products. Brining by injection was a significant factor (odds ratio 10.66; P<0.05) for contamination of product with L. monocytogenes. Moreover, long cold-smoking times (> or = 12 h) had a significant predictive value (odds ratio 24.38; P<0.014) for a sample to test positive for L. monocytogenes. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis results indicated that various sources of L. monocytogenes contamination existed over periods of time in several meat processing plants. In two meat processing plants, persistent L. monocytogenes strains belonging to serotypes 1/2a and 1/2c were found.