Michael Ciaramella works with New York’s seafood industry, regulatory agencies and food and nutrition professionals on issues related to seafood safety, quality and marketing. Photo credit: New York Sea Grant
The presence of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat seafood products is a major cause of costly food recalls in the seafood industry. Although typically found in low numbers and infrequently causing illness, Listeria can multiply to levels that can lead to human disease during refrigerated storage of many ready-to-eat food, including seafood products like cold smoked salmon.
New York Sea Grant has funded several projects led by food safety researcher Dr. Martin Wiedmann at Cornell University spanning over a decade (from 2000 – 2014) examining various aspects of L. monocytogenes growth and control. Based on the results from Dr. Wiedmann’s research, along with research supported by the National Food Safety Initiative by the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service of USDA, the researchers developed an online manual and three specific training programs to help processing plants establish and implement improved science-based L. monocytogenes control programs. Training programs were designed in collaboration with the University of Delaware and Cornell University, New York Sea Grant, Maryland Sea Grant, Virginia Tech, Louisiana State University, the National Food Processors Association and the National Fisheries Institute.