Listeria monocytogenes contamination in industrial sausages


KEY WORDS: Foodborne disease, food safety, listeriosis, sausage.

How to Cite

Rodrigues, C. S., Cordeiro de Sá, C. V. G., & de Melo, C. B. (2018). Listeria monocytogenes contamination in industrial sausages. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 40(1), e009118.


Listeria monocytogenes is the pathogen responsible for listeriosis foodborne outbreaks, which is a serious disease for animals and humans, mainly elderly, children and pregnant women. Listeriosis can progress to encephalitis, meningitis and septicemia, and cause miscarriage, foetal death or neonatal infection.  The aim of the current study was to estimate the occurrence of L. monocytogenes in sausages produced by Brazilian companies registered at the Federal Inspection Service (SIF) and discuss issues related to possible contamination. Samples were collected by the official service from companies throughout Brazil. Analyses were performed in official laboratories of the National Agricultural Laboratories Network (LANAGRO),  accredited by ISO 17025. During the study period, 98 samples of sausages were analyzed and L. monocytogenes was detected in 8.16% of the samples (8/98). Six sausage companies were found positive for L. monocytogenes, where cross-contamination occurred after heat treatment and prior to product packaging,  favouring the presence of this pathogen. Given that sausage is a cooked meat product that may or may not be heated prior to consumption, and is appreciated mainly by children, this, therefore, poses a risk to consumers. This result highlights that it is essential to intensify compliance with good manufacturing practices and to adopt risk mitigation measures to avoid this pathogen.