Prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes

Prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes and Occurrence of Listeriosis from Ready-to-Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Human foodborne listeriosis has been mainly linked to the consumption of poultry, beef and dairy products. However, the number of studies reporting incidence of L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables has been dramatically increased over the last decade; prevalence has been reported to range from 0.04% to 36.8% to a variety of products, such as carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, various herbs, lettuce, rocket, strawberries etc. At the same time listeriosis outbreaks epidemiologically associated with the consumption of such products have also increased, in both number and severity, with the 2011 US multistate outbreak linked to whole cantaloupes being the most characteristic. In this chapter prevalence of L. monocytogenes in unprocessed and minimally processed fruits and vegetables as well as listeriosis outbreaks linked to the 
consumption of such products are addressed.