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Int J Food Microbiol. 1994 Mar;21(4):325-34.

The occurrence and seasonal changes in the isolation of Listeria spp. in shop bought food stuffs, human faeces, sewage and soil from urban sources.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Southmead Health Services NHS Trust, Bristol, England, UK.


Eight hundred and twenty-two shop-bought food specimens, 136 soil and 692 faecal specimens were cultured for Listeria spp. in a regular, year round survey. 19.7% (162/822) of the foods, 93.9% (108/115) of the sewage, 14.7% (20/136) soils and 1% (7/692) of faeces yielded Listeria spp. with 10.5% foods, 60.0% sewage, 0.7% soils and 0.6% faeces containing L. monocytogenes. No seasonal variation was noted in isolates from either sewage or foods, with L. monocytogenes and L. innocua being the commonest species in both L. ivanovii when isolated from foods was strongly associated with mutton. Poultry was most likely to contain L. monocytogenes (65.6%, 21/32) and in the greatest numbers. A high percentage of beef (34.6%, 9/26), lamb (40%, 8/20), pork (28.1%, 9/32) and sausages (34.7%, 8/23) also contained L. monocytogenes. L. monocytogenes was rarely isolated from paté (1/40) or soft cheeses (1/251), both of which have been involved with foodborne listeriosis outbreak in the UK. Listeria spp. were commonest in faeces and soils in July to September but the predominant species isolated were different with L. monocytogenes and L. innocua the commonest from faeces and L. ivanovii and L. seeligeri the most common from soil.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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