Food Safety of Freshly Cut Fruits and Vegetables

Controlling Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) in fresh, ready-to-eat cut fruits and vegetables is challenging. Unprocessed fruits and vegetables can be sporadically infected with L. monocytogenes and there is no extermination step during processing.

On-site detection of L. monocytogenes on raw materials, equipment, and finished products can contribute to faster detection and identification of a potential source. In addition to speed and low detection limits, a condition for the on-site testing procedure is also the specificity to allow detection of L. monocytogenes. This sub-project also aims to provide insight into the parameters to be used, such as strain diversity, for the implementation of the current EURL guidelines in relation to L. monocytogenes challenge tests as well as the extent to which these affect the shelf life.