Camargo et al. Serotypes and Pulsotypes Diversity of in a Beef-Processing Environment, Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 12, 323-326, 2015

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Utensils and equipment from meat-processing facilities are considered relevant cross-contamination points of Listeria monocytogenes to foods, demanding tracking studies to identify their specific origins, and predict proper control. The present study aimed to detect L. monocytogenes in a beef-processing facility, investigating the diversity of serotypes and pulsotypes in order to identify the possible contamination routes. Surface samples from knives (n=26), tables (n=78), and employees hands (n=74) were collected before and during the procedures from a beef-processing facility, in addition to surface samples of end cuts: round (n=32), loin (n=30), and chuck (n=32). All samples were subjected to L. monocytogenes screening according ISO 11.290-1, and the obtained isolates were subjected to serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Listeria spp. were identified in all processing steps, in 61 samples, and L. monocytogenes was detected in 17 samples, not being found only in knives. Eighty-five isolates were identified as L. monocytogenes, from serotypes 1/2c (n=65), 4b (n=13), and 1/2b (n=7), being grouped in 19 pulsotypes. Considering these results, cross-contamination among hands, tables, and beef cuts could be identified. The obtained data indicated the relevance of cross-contamination in the beef-processing facility, and the occurrence of serotypes 1/2b and 4b in beef cuts distributed for retail sale is a public health concern.

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