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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382

Abstract

VON LAER, Ana Eucares et al. Characterization of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from a fresh mixed sausage processing line in Pelotas-RS by PFGE. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2009, vol.40, n.3, pp. 574-582. ISSN 1517-8382.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-83822009000300021.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium capable to adhere to the surfaces of equipment and utensils and subsequently form biofilms. It can to persist in the food processing environmental for extended periods of time being able to contaminate the final product. The aim of this study was to trace the contamination route of L. monocytogenes on a fresh mixed sausage processing line, from raw material to the final product. The isolates obtained were characterized by serotyping and molecular typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) using the restriction enzymes ApaI and AscI. L. monocytogenes was detected in 25% of the samples. The samples of raw material were not contaminated, however, the microorganism was detected in 21% of the environmental samples (food contact and non-food contact), 20.8% of the equipments, 20% of the food worker's hands, 40% of the mass ready to packaging and in all the final products samples, demonstrating that the contamination of final product occurred during the processing and the importance of cross contamination. PFGE yielded 22 pulsotypes wich formed 7 clusters, and serotyping yielded 3 serotypes and 1 serogroup, however, the presence of serotypes 4b and 1/2b in the final product is of great concern for public health. The tracing of contamination showed that some strains are adapted and persisted in the processing environment in this industry.

Keywords : Listeria monocytogenes; PFGE; serotyping; persistent strains.

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