FSA invites tenders for listeria study

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is inviting tenders to review the practices of cooked sliced meat producers in their management of a foodborne bacteria that causes more food poisoning fatalities than any other, even salmonella and E.coli.

The FSA says listeria monocytogenes is a priority for action, as it is the leading cause of death from foodborne disease. So finding ways to reduce exposure of vulnerable consumers to listeria in ready-to-eat foods remains important, it says.

More work is required to understand the sampling and testing regimes used by manufacturers of ready-to-eat foods, particularly small to medium-sized businesses, and their approaches to controlling listeria in the food supply chain – hence the tender invitation.

Researchers will be required to conduct a comprehensive review of current practices in the management of L.monocytogenes used by manufacturers in the cooked sliced meat sector, identifying key risk areas in the whole processing chain and potential gaps in their management.

Tender applications must be submitted by 11 July.

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