Meat, food institutes support Listeria research

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — The American Meat Institute Foundation and the Food Marketing Institute Foundation have announced they will provide funding to support research to develop control strategies for Listeria monyocytogenes in retail delis.

“We are pleased to fund this important project with our retail customers through F.M.I.,” said James H. Hodges, president of the A.M.I. Foundation. “This important project will help us continue our work to reduce and ultimately eliminate Listeria on ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.”

Haley F. Oliver, assistant professor in the department of food science at Purdue University, will head the research and Martin Wiedmann, associate professor in the Cornell University department of food science, will collaborate on the effort. Supermarkets voluntarily will participate in the multi-stage study, and phases of the research include identifying where the bacteria is likely to be found or able to live in the retail environment, developing practical control strategies that may reduce the organisms in retail delis and prevent potential cross-contamination, and verifying the efficacy of the control strategies through testing. The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture also is providing funding.

“Supermarkets are committed to continually improve food safety practices to protect our customers and provide the safest food possible,” said Jill Hollingsworth, senior vice-president of food safety at the F.M.I. “This research will help us identify practical, science-based ways to control Listeria. Collaboration among trading partners, universities and the U.S.D.A. is the best way to achieve our common goal of reducing food-borne illness.”

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