Survey of retail smoked fish with particular reference to the presence of Listeria monocytogenes
Project Reference: 06-RESR-02
Commencement Date: October 2006
Project Duration: 3 months
This study examined ready to eat (RTE) retail smoked fish with particular reference to Listeria monocytogenes. Samples of RTE hot and cold smoked fish were purchased from retail outlets throughout the Republic of Ireland and analysed.
Overall contamination by Listeria spp. was 10.2% (all at acceptable levels). The pathogen was detected in 4.7% of samples at <10 cfu/g. Of the 105 samples of cold smoked fish tested, 19 (18.1%) contained Listeria; nine of which were Listeria monocytogenes. Of the 151 samples of hot smoked fish tested seven contained Listeria; two of which were Listeria monocytogenes.
The survey revealed that salmon was the most common fish contaminated with Listeria spp. with 22 positive isolations; 10 of which were L. monocytogenes. Mackerel was less frequently contaminated with three positive Listeria isolations; two of which were L. monocytogenes. Trout showed the lowest prevalence of contamination for Listeria spp. Neither Salmonella nor E. coli were detected in any sample while nine samples contained Staphylococcus aureus. Enterobacteriaceae were detected in just two of the 256 samples taken.
Dr Jeff Banks, Food Safety Assurance, North Littleton, UK
No published report