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Campden BRI ran a conference bringing together expertise on the management and control of Listeria through a combination of design, awareness and the application of cleaning and disinfection methods. The general consensus was that the primary control of this highly important organism was more about cleaning than disinfection.
Listeria itself is a relatively easy organism to kill using standard disinfection techniques and QAC based chemical technology. However, as many of the presenters noted, the difficulty is often accessing the organism due to a lack of effective or through cleaning. In particular, non-routine cleaning can lead to a rapid development of biofilms containing the organism – especially if an over-reliance is placed on the disinfection regime.
Interestingly, evidence was presented that in low nutrient conditions, ie. cleaned equipment / surfaces, the development of this biofilm can be a matter of hours leading to a potential re-contamination of surfaces / product when production re-starts. This leads to the suggestion that a second disinfection stage should be undertaken if a protracted period of time has elapsed between the end of the cleaning & disinfection operation and the start of production. In plain speak, this could be a plant operating 5 days a week with the clean taking place on a Friday night and not re-starting until Monday morning.
As part of the day, Holchem ran an exhibition stand outlining Listeria management control measure as well as supporting the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s national awareness day through the wearing of orange wigs.