Statistical analysis of the Listeria monocytogenes EU-wide baseline survey in certain ready-to-eat foods Part A: Listeria monocytogenes prevalence estimates
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A European Union-wide survey on Listeria monocytogenes in selected categories of ready-to-eat food at retail was carried out in 2010-2011. A total of 13 088 products were sampled: 3 053 smoked or gravad fish at sampling and at the end of shelf-life; 3 530 packaged heat-treated meat products at the end of shelf-life and 3 452 soft or semi-soft cheeses products at the end of shelf-life. All food samples were examined for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes, in addition to the determination of the Listeria monocytogenes counts. The prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes was estimated using a scheme combining detection and enumeration testing (detection positive or enumeration result of at least 10 cfu/g). The EU prevalence in fish samples at time of sampling was 10.4 % and at end of shelf-life 10.3 %, while for meat and cheese samples at the end of shelf-life it was 2.07 % and 0.47 %, respectively. The EU-level proportion of samples exceeding the level of 100 cfu/g at the end of shelf-life was 1.7 %, 0.43 % and 0.06 % for fish, meat and cheese samples, respectively, while for fish at the time of sampling it was 1.0%. Summaries of the distribution and central location of the counts of Listeria monocytogenes in the examined samples are also presented. Finally an Appendix provides further summaries on detection tests and enumeration counts by country, on planned and achieved sample sizes as well as population sizes.