Isolation and Pulsed

Isolation and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing of Listeria monocytogenes from modified atmosphere packaged fresh-cut vegetables collected in Ireland
October 2006
Journal of Food Protection Volume 69, Number 10, pp. 2524-2528(5)
Francis, Gillian A.; O’Beirne, David

The incidence of Listeria monocytogenes in modified atmosphere packaged fresh-cut fruits and vegetables from chill cabinets of a supermarket in Ireland was investigated over a 2-year period. Overall, 9.58% of fresh-cut produce was contaminated with Listeria spp. Various species of Listeria were isolated from samples, including L. monocytogenes, L. seeligeri, L. innocua, L. welshimeri, and L. ivanovii. No fruit samples contained detectable L. monocytogenes. Overall, a total of 21 L. monocytogenes isolates (2.9% of samples) were recovered from a range of products, including dry coleslaw mix (80% shredded cabbage and 20% shredded carrot), bean sprouts, and leafy vegetables such iceberg, romaine, and radicchio lettuce and mixed salad leaves (curly endive, escarole, and radicchio leaves). Dry coleslaw mix appeared to have the highest incidence of Listeria contamination (20%) compared with other products. Listeria contamination was more frequent (P < 0.05) during the summer and autumn months than during the winter and spring months. The 21 L. monocytogenes isolates were subsequently subtyped by genomic macrorestriction techniques using ApaI with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). PFGE of digested DNA produced bands of 79 to 518 kb. Four PFGE profiles were identified, and approximately 50% of the isolates were associated with profile 1. This study indicates that fresh-cut vegetables packaged under a modified atmosphere can support growth of numerous species of Listeria, including L. monocytogenes.