Advisory to Manufacturers of Ready-to-Eat Meat Products

CANADA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has served operators of federally registered operations with important information that has emerged relating to the control of Listeria monocytogenes and to ask that they take immediate action.
calendar icon 6 September 2008
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In the course of investigating the Listeria monocytogenes incident involving ready-to-eat meat products, the CFIA has been made aware of a potential contributing factor that may relate to inadequately cleaned meat slicing equipment. Although the investigation has not confirmed the source of contamination, we are asking that you take appropriate measures to address this potential risk factor.

The investigation has highlighted that organic material may become retained within the inner workings of slicing equipment even after routine sanitation has been performed and cleaning conducted in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.

Based on this information, the CFIA is advising all operators of federally registered establishments using meat-slicing equipment to immediately do the following:

At the next scheduled line sanitation, disassemble and perform a systematic and thorough aggressive cleaning and sanitation procedure upon such equipment, including all internal non-electronic parts. Inform the CFIA inspector of all details of this exercise.

  1. Perform Listeria environmental sampling of contact surfaces and re-sanitize such equipment prior to reuse.
  2. Inform the CFIA inspector of the results of this exercise upon receipt of the results.
  3. If warranted, and in consultation with the CFIA inspector, review the standard cleaning and sanitation procedures for such equipment to ensure that internal working parts are being suitably cleaned and disinfected on an ongoing basis. This includes the introduction of routine Listeria environmental sampling of contact surfaces for such equipment, if such testing is not already being done.

In case of any questions, the operator of the registered establishment should contact the CFIA inspector-in-charge at the establishment.

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