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British Frozen Food Federation launches Listeria Management guide

30 November 2015

The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) has launched a new resource - ‘Guide to the Management of Listeria in Food Processing’ - to help and advise food businesses involved in the production and preparation of food.

The main aim of the comprehensive guide is to help businesses involved in the preparation of ‘ready to eat’ (RTE) and ‘ready to defrost and eat’ (RTDE) foods, understand the actions they should be taking to proactively manage and reduce the incidence of Listeria spp. and in particular the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes in the materials, processes and products in their control.

In addition, the guide covers many other topics to help inform and advise small businesses, including:

• Details about the Listeria bacteria and its growth conditions
• The regulatory framework and guidance to its implementation
• Management and monitoring for the prevention of monocytogenes
• Environmental control and monitoring of water, hygiene and temperature
• Raw material and supplier management
• Sample Analysis and the appropriate actions if sampling reveals Listeria.

Each topic covered within the guide offers detailed, informative advice, allowing businesses to increase their knowledge of Listeria and the potentially very harmful infection, Listeriosis. The information provided is broken down in to manageable sections, enabling readers to easily navigate through the guide.

Brian Young, chief executive of BFFF, said: “We are delighted to announce the publication of this valuable resource. The extensive guide will allow businesses to effectively manage and monitor the prevention of this potentially deadly disease.”

Mr Young continued: “The document also acts a useful resource should small businesses find themselves at the centre of an alleged listeriosis case, as it can provide guidance regarding the appropriate actions to take and what might be expected by way of enforcement.”

Listeriosis is a serious foodborne disease in the UK, and causes severe health complications to people every year. Listeria reduction therefore remains a key area of focus in the Food Standards Agency Strategic Plan 2015-20.

The guide has been welcomed by Catherine Brown, chief executive of the Food Standards Agency. Commenting on its launch, Catherine Brown said: “This considered and practical approach should help food businesses to manage and control risks, resulting in food that is safe for consumers. We very much welcome the British Frozen Food Federation’s Guide to the Management of Listeria in Food Processing and its aim of helping food businesses understand and control Listeria.”

The guidance was developed by the BFFF Technical Expert Group which provided expert and practical advice for the benefit of BFFF members.

The ‘Guide to the Management of Listeria in Food Processing’ is available to download here or, alternatively, please visit the BFFF website at http://bfff.co.uk/listeria-guidance-launched/.


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