Preventing the Spread of Listeria

Learn how to prevent listeria monocytogenes and take steps to keep it from spreading when you suspect an employee is infected with the pathogen.

Keystone - News & Insights

May 24, 2017

Did you know that listeriosis accounts for 43 percent of food poisoning deaths* in the United States? And that unheated hot dogs are one of the highest risk ready-to-eat foods for listeriosis? Here’s how you can take preventative measures to keep listeria from contaminating the food coming out of your kitchen.

Take Action

  • Know your listeria facts. Get access to educational and procedural information.
  • Know your suppliers. Source listeria-sensitive foods from suppliers who implement valid listeria controls
  • Keep prep areas clean. Thoroughly wash and sanitize kitchen work surfaces and utensils according to product labels immediately after contact with high-risk foods.
  • Avoid cross contamination. Keep raw and cooked products separate, especially raw eggs, milk, meat and poultry.

Prepare Food Carefully

  • Rinse fruits and vegetables before preparing and serving unless they’ve been commercially pre-washed.
  • Follow appropriate cook times. Cook food thoroughly. Don’t serve foods containing raw eggs or raw (unpasteurized) milk. Reference the FDA Food Code for specific cooking temperature guidelines.

Clean Thoroughly and Routinely

  • Wash hands frequently. Hands should be washed before handling food and between handling different food items.
  • Clean and sanitize food-centric objects and surfaces in the back of the house with an EPA-registered, food-safe sanitizer. Focus especially on prep surfaces and high-touch objects such as utensils, prep and serving ware as well as cookware.
  • Clean and disinfect storage areas, restrooms and break rooms using an EPA-registered sanitizer or disinfectant. Focus especially on high-touch areas—for example, chairs, door knobs and menus.

* Source: CDC (2006). Surveillance for Foodborne-Disease Outbreaks - UnitedStates,1998-2002. MMWR55(SS10); 1-34


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