Implementing Targeted Good Manufacturing Practices and Sanitation Procedures to Minimize Listeria Contamination of Smoked Seafood Products


The Smoked Seafood Working Group (SSWG), a collaboration of two national industry trade organizations, smoked seafood processors and academia, developed guidelines to minimize Listeria monocytogenes contamination of finished products in smoked seafood operations. The SSWG identified five elements required for a complete Listeria control program: (1) Listeria specific Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and sanitation procedures, (2) employee training, (3) environmental microbiological monitoring and testing, (4) raw material controls, and (5) temperature controls for finished product. This manuscript describes specific GMPs and sanitation procedures to minimize Listeria contamination in smoked seafood operations. Targeted procedures that need to be implemented include GMPs to prevent cross contamination caused by improper design and layout of processing operations, the movement of people and equipment in the plant, and inadequate employee hygiene and food handling practices. In addition, cleaning and sanitation procedures for equipment and the processing plant environment that are designed to target Listeria contamination specifically need to be in place.