Environmental monitoring is recognized as an important strategy for controlling Listeria monocytogenes in food processing facilities. Samples are taken by swabbing environmental surfaces, and the swabs are immersed in a medium for transport to the laboratory. In this study, buffered peptone water (BPW), Dey-Engley neutralizing broth (DE), neutralizing buffer (NB), Letheen broth (LE), and newly described MCC buffer (MCC) were evaluated as transport media for recovery of sanitizer-stressed L. monocytogenes from inoculated swabs. After storage at 4°C, the media performed similarly, but at 25°C relative recovery efficiency from the inoculated sponges was DE > LE > BPW > MCC > NB. Recoveries from stainless steel surfaces followed similar trends. MCC, DE, and NB were compared for L. monocytogenes recovery in the presence of Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Listeria innocua. After 4°C storage, all population levels changed little; after 25°C storage, DE allowed the best growth of L. monocytogenes regardless of other species present. MCC, DE, and NB performed similarly for recovery of L. monocytogenes from an artificial milk biofilm and for recovery of Listeria spp. from swabs obtained from a meat processing facility. Transport medium formulation, time and temperature of swab storage, and coexistence of other species affect recovery of sanitizer-stressed L. monocytogenes from environmental swabs. The study confirms the need to maintain 4°C storage conditions during swab transport.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science