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Studies on Listeria Show Increasing Resistance to Stress


Food Safety Net Services, a prominent company offering laboratory assays to the food and beverage industries recently published a commentary on Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen of extreme food-borne significance. Studies conducted at the Leuven University School of Biosciences and Medicine in Belgium showed that the psychrophilic organism when exposed to increasing temperature, develops resistance not only to heat but to other stressors by applying a molecular mechanism termed “cross protection”. An article published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology suggested that this capability coupled with increased consumption of non-cooked foods especially in salads will increase the incidence rate of listeriosis. Adopting minimal processing to preserve nutritional value and sensory characteristics or as a growing social trend towards uncooked foods will require alternatives to heat sterilization and pasteurization such as ultrasonic treatment, electronic beam irradiation or hydrostatic pressure.