Two sets of criteria for L. monocytogenes now apply based on whether growth of L. monocytogenes will or will not occur in the RTE food:
- RTE foods in which growth of L. monocytogenes will not occur (less than 100cfu/g).
- RTE foods in which growth of L. monocytogenes will occur (not detected in 25g).
This approach is risk-based and has been informed by improved scientific knowledge about the factors affecting the risk of acquiring listeriosis.
It is consistent with international approaches, including Codex guidelines
and recognises that L. monocytogenes
is able to grow to high numbers in some foods and should not be present at detectable levels if the food is to be kept safe. In other foods, where we know the pathogen cannot grow, there is a possibility for occasional low level detections that will not affect the safety of the food.