USDA releases guidance for preventing Listeria in delis

April 29, 2014

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) has released a guidance document that outlines specific measures deli retailers can take to control Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products. This guidance represents FSIS’s current thinking on this topic and should be considered usable as of this issuance. These materials highlight recommendations that are based on an evaluation of retail conditions and practices in the “Interagency Risk Assessment—Listeria monocytogenes in Retail Delicatessens,” as well as information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code, scientific literature, other guidance documents, and lessons learned from FSIS verification sampling and review of sanitation programs for Listeria monocytogenes in meat and poultry processing establishments.

FSIS requests that all interested persons submit comments regarding any aspect of this document, including but not limited to: content, readability, applicability, and accessibility. The comment period will be 60 days. A final version of this guidance will be issued in response to public comments.

Guidance document