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What is Listeria monocytogenes?

Listeria, also known as Listeria monocytogenes, is a bacteria found everywhere in nature, including animals, vegetables and also in water. This bacteria can cause the rare infectious disease, Listeriosis. Listeriosis is not common, but it can have fatal consequences. Therefore, a properly effective disinfectant is essential.

Combat Listeria in the food industry

One of the main reasons why Listeria contamination is rare is because the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) strictly monitors it. Should they find traces of harmful bacteria such as Listeria, they have the manufacturer recall all products. In addition to the direct financial loss, the company may also suffer reputational damage as a result. To control bacteria such as Listeria, food processors often use chemical disinfectants in their process water. But because the crops are sometimes eaten directly from the packaging, the products must be clean and not harmful. So this means that even the process water should not contain harmful substances.

Germ-free process water increases food safety and shelf life

Food processors must be mindful of Listeria, as well as Salmonella, E. coli, and many other bacteria. In addition, there are also dangerous viruses, fungi, and yeasts that multiply and spread through process water. Therefore, keeping process water clean is very important, but can also be very difficult. This is because most disinfectants are harmful to consumers, difficult to dose, and are quite pricey.

Continuous dosing with the Watter-system

Watter offers a user-friendly and sustainable solution. With the Watter system, you as a food producer or processor are able to make your own disinfectant. This agent is effective and biodegradable, so you know you will find little harmful residue in your products. The device uses electricity, salt and water to create a disinfectant with HOCl as the most active active ingredient. Due to the diversity of substances, the agent can be dosed to the process water in very low concentrations. HOCl is more effective against microorganisms than, for example, bleach at the same dosage.

Watter can safely be used to disinfect process water, eliminating bacteria such as Listeria. Watter has been extensively tested by TNO and Eurofins, among others, and we can tell you that we have achieved 100% results with all our clients in the food industry. Without exception, Watter has proven to be better than alternative disinfectants.

Test Watter in your process to prevent Listeria contamination

Watter can do a lot for you in terms of quality but also safety. It brings certainty, peace of mind and reduces the costs you would normally spend on chemical disinfection. In addition, it can also provide an extended shelf life date on your products. So are you ready to give your products an extended shelf life?

Consequences Listeria for human and animal

Contamination with Listeria monocytogenes

We find Listeria monocytogenes most commonly in animal foods. Plant products are less commonly contaminated. The products most commonly associated with Listeria are sliced meats, smoked fish and the softer fungal cheeses. Other meat products and ready-to-eat raw food products or sandwiches from the refrigerator are also examples of foods through which people can contract infection. It is mainly because these products are consumed without heating. The bacteria survive and multiply mainly in a humid environment but also in the freezer. Where most other bacteria die from the cold or stop multiplying, Listeria continues to grow.

Symptoms of Listeria

Listeria monocytogenes infection does not have to manifest itself directly in illness. Healthy people do not notice or at most have mild flu. Those who belong to one of the risk groups (pregnant women, newborn babies, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems) are at risk of serious illness. Blood poisoning, inflammation in the inner wall of the heart, gastrointestinal infections, eye and skin infections and even meningitis can be caused by Listeria monocytogenes. For pregnant women, there is a risk of miscarriage or premature birth so for them especially, Listeria prevention is better than cure. Certain higher-risk foods are also not recommended for pregnant women for this reason.

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