Listeria spp

Few data are available concerning the incidence of this potential pathogen on raw poultry before the late 1980s. Two early European studies, conducted before 1980, suggested that the intestinal tract of broilers, freshly processed broilers, fresh broilers at the time of sale, and frozen broilers were contaminated with this organism. Since 1989 numerous studies have been designed to evaluate the incidence of this pathogen on raw poultry products. Depending on the country where such studies were conducted as well as the isolation techniques utilized, incidence rates range from 2 to 94%. Of course, not all isolates recovered have been L. monocytogenes (2-50%), but the presence of any Listeria spp. would lead to the conclusion that pathogenic species could be present. However, it is important to note that the serotype most often incriminated in cases of human listeriosis (serotype 4b) has not been a problem in raw poultry. Data regarding the numbers of Listeria on raw poultry are limited but suggest that levels are quite low.

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