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Teagasc Hosts Symposium on Listeria monocytogenes in Food

Over 100 scientists and food industry stakeholders are gathering at Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown on 24th and 25th May for the 2023 Symposium on Listeria monocytogenes in Foods: Recent Advances and Outstanding Questions.

Teagasc Hosts Symposium on Listeria monocytogenes in Food
L-R: Professor Fabian Commichau (University of Hohenheim, Germany), Dr Kaye Burgess (Teagasc), Dr Achim Schmalenberger (University of Limerick), Professor Birgitte Kallipolitis (University of Southern Denmark), Professor Olivia McAuliffe (Teagasc), Dr Ana Allende (Spanish National Research Council) and Professor Conor O’Byrne (University of Galway).

The two-day symposium brings together researchers interested in all aspects of Listeria monocytogenes to share their latest results, develop new collaborations and reinvigorate networks. It marks the culmination of a four-year research project – Listeria Challenge Studies - funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The project, led by a consortium of Listeria expertise in Ireland across five research-performing organisations (Teagasc, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick and University of Galway), sought to understand the behaviour of this important pathogen in foods and in the food processing environment through the characterisation of an Irish strain collection, representing a snapshot of the situation relating to Listeria monocytogenes across the Irish food sector.

Professor Olivia McAuliffe of Teagasc’s Food Bioscience Department is project co-ordinator and chair of the symposium organising committee. She welcomed attendees to the Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown on Wednesday. ‘Foodborne listeriosis, a rare but potentially life-threatening infection, is caused by the consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The Listeria Challenge Studies project aimed to gain a holistic view of the factors influencing the growth of this pathogen in foods. Understanding the behaviour of Listeria monocytogenes in foods is key to establishing effective control measures, thus reducing the possibility of product recalls and outbreaks associated with contaminated foods products.’

Over 40 scientific papers will be presented, with key topics including stress response and virulence, persistence in the food processing environment, predictive modelling in food systems as well as updates from regulatory agencies and other stakeholders. Speakers include project collaborators, as well as partners from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) -funded ListeriaPredict project and other national and international experts.

For more information, including the symposium programme and abstracts, visit the conference webpage