Microbiological challenge testing for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat food: a practical approach

Submitted: 8 July 2014
Accepted: 6 October 2014
Published: 10 December 2014
Abstract Views: 2846
HTML: 409
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


Food business operators (FBOs) are the primary responsible for the safety of food they place on the market. The definition and validation of the product’s shelf-life is an essential part for ensuring microbiological safety of food and health of consumers. In the frame of the Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, FBOs shall conduct shelf-life studies in order to assure that their food does not exceed the food safety criteria throughout the defined shelf-life. In particular this is required for ready-to-eat (RTE) food that supports the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. Among other studies, FBOs can rely on the conclusion drawn by microbiological challenge tests. A microbiological challenge test consists in the artificial contamination of a food with a pathogen microorganism and aims at simulating its behaviour during processing and distribution under the foreseen storage and handling conditions. A number of documents published by international health authorities and research institutions describes how to conduct challenge studies. The authors reviewed the existing literature and described the methodology for implementing such laboratory studies. All the main aspects for the conduction of L. monocytogenes microbiological challenge tests were considered, from the selection of the strains, preparation and choice of the inoculum level and method of contamination, to the experimental design and data interpretation. The objective of the present document is to provide an exhaustive and practical guideline for laboratories that want to implement L. monocytogenes challenge testing on RTE food.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


How to Cite

Spanu C, Scarano C, Ibba M, Pala C, Spanu V, De Santis EPL. Microbiological challenge testing for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat food: a practical approach. Ital J Food Safety [Internet]. 2014 Dec. 10 [cited 2024 Jul. 13];3(4). Available from: https://www.pagepressjournals.org/ijfs/article/view/ijfs.2014.4518

Similar Articles

<< < 1 2 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.