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Issue Number: Council III 022


Revision of the 2006 CFP Listeria Retail Guidelines

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

With FDA's support, the Food Safety and Inspection Service is recommending the formation of a CFP Committee to revise the 2006 CFP "Voluntary Guidelines of Sanitation Practices Standard Operating Procedures and Good Retail Practices to Minimize Contamination and Growth of Listeria monocytogenes." The guidelines should be revised to reflect new information on sanitation of slicers, harborage points for Lm at retail, and specific Listeria sampling protocols for retail facilities. In addition, the 2009 FDA Food Code Annex 2 (References, Part 3-Supporting Documents) should be amended to include a reference and summary of the revised guidelines.

Public Health Significance

Listeria contamination at retail continues to be a significant public health issue.

Since the CFP Listeria retail guidelines were issued in 2006, new information has been published regarding risk from listeriosis from retail products. In 2010, FSIS published a risk assessment[1] that found that of the listeriosis cases attributed to deli meat, most (approximately 83%) were associated with deli meats sliced at retail. In addition, FDA has issued sanitation guidance for slicers, stating that recent foodborne illness outbreaks have been associated with commercial deli slicers that are difficult to clean and sanitize. Also, new information has been published identifying sources of Lm harborage and cross contamination, and demonstrating that Lm can survive in the environment of retail delis for more than a year.[2] This information indicates that sampling for Lm at retail can be an important tool for retailers to identify and address Lm contamination in retail delis and develop focused approaches to prevent deli products from becoming contaminated.

Although the 2006 CFP Listeria retail guidelines provided general information about cleaning and sanitizing and sampling in the retail environment, it did not provide steps for cleaning and sanitizing slicers, specific sites of harborage or cross contamination for Listeria, or sampling protocols for Lm in the retail environment. Therefore, FSIS and FDA jointly recommend that the CFP retail guidelines be revised to better address this new information. By forming a committee to revise the guidelines, CFP can ensure that view-points from a wide variety of backgrounds are considered and that the guidelines provide the best possible information to help retailers protect public health.

[1] FSIS Comparative Risk Assessment for Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-eat Meat and Poultry Deli Meats, 2010, found at:

[2] Sauders, B.D. et al. Prevalence and Molecular Diversity of Listeria monocytogenes in Retail Establishments. Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 72, No. 11, 2009, Pages 2337-2349. Found at:

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that a CFP Committee be created to revise the 2006 CFP "Voluntary Guidelines of Sanitation Practices Standard Operating Procedures and Good Retail Practices to Minimize Contamination and Growth of Listeria monocytogenes" to incorporate the following:

1. Sanitation guidance for slicers,

2. Information on cross contamination and harborage points for Lm,

3. More detailed information about how sampling for Lm can be conducted as part of a strategy for preventing Lm contamination at retail,

4. Updating outdated links to other documents, and

5. Other relevant information identified by the Committee.

The Conference also recommends that the Committee report recommendations back to the 2014 Biennial Meeting with Issues to address the charges and include recommendations that a letter be sent to FDA requesting that Annex 2 (References, Part 3-Supporting Documents) be amended by adding a reference to the revised voluntary guidelines.

Submitter Information

Name Kristina Barlow
Organization USDA/FSIS
Address Address: 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, 8th Floor, Cube 265C, PP3
Washington, DC 20024
Telephone 202-690-7739
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