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FSA Seeks Data on Cost of Stricter Criteria for Listeria

19 July 2013

UK - The British Food Standards Agency is calling on businesses to provide information and data on the impact of proposed new guidance for stricter criteria for listeria.

The Agency wants to know the costs and benefits of guidance for stricter criteria for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE) food supplied to hospitals, nursing homes and similar healthcare settings

The current Listeria monocytogenes level is no more than 100cfu/g in RTE food at the end of its shelf-life and there is a requirement for absence in certain food categories.

Two main options are being considered:

advise that RTE food should not be supplied to healthcare settings unless the level of Listeria monocytogenes contamination is very low, i.e. reduce current level of <100cfu/g to <20cfu/g or <10cfu/gadvise that RTE food supplied to healthcare settings should not contain Listeria monocytogenes

UK businesses that supply RTE food to hospitals, nursing homes and similar healthcare settings in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have been asked to supply the data.

The information provided by businesses will help develop an Impact Assessment that will consider the criteria options in detail.

The FSA will consult widely on the Impact Assessment in autumn 2013, with a view of issuing new guidance by the end of the year.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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