Listeria monocytogenes risk management results in a better guarantee of food safety. The integrated approach in relation to Listeria monocytogenes risks allows the risk-based management of production, NPD and quality management processes, making them more transparent and effective.
Organisations can save costs and respond more quickly and effectively to developments in a market that is always in flux.
Smartfood R&D has an extensive track record with regard to the support for customers in the development and implementation of recipes with built-in Listeria monocytogenes protection for a wide variety of products.
We not only use classic preservation methods, including lowering the pH, the Aw value or the use of preservatives such as acetic acid/acetate, lactic acid/ lactate and sorbic acid/sorbates, but we also specialize in novel preservation techniques like the application of protective cultures.
When possible, we consider the use of raw materials when developing recipes: can things be improved, done more efficiently, and is the recipe solid enough to prevent complaints?
The proper execution of physico-chemical analyses that are important for the control of Listeria monocytogenes is not as easy as it may seem. Due to specific characteristics, each product can impact the result of a physico-chemical analysis.
The effects of products and product matrices on the reliability of physico-chemical analyses are constantly under scrutiny in our laboratory. To obtain a correct analysis result, details in the determination are often of decisive importance.
By tailoring our physico-chemical analyses methods to product characteristics and specific product-related risks, we can make our analyses sufficiently accurate to use the results for the remote monitoring of processes and detecting any process failures.
Smartfood R&D specialises in predictive microbiology based on recipes and processes. Applying predictive microbiology in recipe development allows us to make a reliable estimate of the growth potential of Listeria monocytogenes in a product at an early stage of the development process.
When establishing the growth potential of Listeria monocytogenes, a worst-case initial contamination of 1 or 10 CFU per gram is commonly assumed. In reality, however, this worst-case initial contamination proves to be considerably more limited.
Smartfood R&D has developed a method to calculate the actual worst-case initial contamination of Listeria monocytogenes with a high degree of accuracy. Using our calculations, we have been able to bring many cases that were previously impossible to solve to a successful conclusion.
Validation of processes
Validation of processes
The validation of processes plays an important role in Listeria monocytogenes risk management. Good management of processes such as mixing, injecting, tumbling, pickling, marinating and pasteurising automatically results in securing the food safety of a product.
A next step can be taken as soon as processes are properly secured. Good management of production processes allows the reduction of the amount of preservation required to control the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. This in turn results in cost management, increased production efficiency and last, but not least: improvement of taste!
Smartfood R&D has an extensive track record in the area of validating processes that are vital for controlling Listeria monocytogenes risks.
Listeria monocytogenes challenge tests
Following EU 2073 and related directives such as info sheet 85 NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) in carrying out Listeria monocytogenes challenge tests are a matter of course to us.
In addition to carrying out regular Listeria monocytogenes challenge tests, we specialise in the more difficult cases, such as challenge tests combined with protective cultures and Listeria monocytogenes challenge tests on products that naturally contain a high level of interfering bacteria such as fungus-ripened or fermented foods. The bacterial cultures added to these foods in turn interfere with Listeria monocytogenes counts.
So how to obtain a reliable Listeria monocytogenes count with these kinds of products? We have the answer.
Our integrated approach is perfect for the rapid detection and elimination of Listeria monocytogenes contaminations at a production site. We use a quick scan to map possible sources of contamination and help clients to eliminate any sources of contamination quickly and effectively.
If required, we support companies in setting up and implementing cleaning and monitoring systems based on risk management to help prevent future Listeria monocytogenes contamination .
If you would like to discuss the implementation of Listeria monocytogenes risk management for your company with us, click here to make an appointment for a video call.