FDA Releases Summary Report on Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. in Domestic Ready-to-Eat Dips and Spreads
On June 15, 2023, FDA released its findings from a sampling assignment that collected and tested 747 refrigerated ready-to-eat (RTE) dips for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. The Agency detected Listeria monocytogenes in three dip and cheese spread samples, and Salmonella spp. in one hummus sample.
This assignment is part of FDA’s risk-based approach to food safety outlined in the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) and was conducted in response to previous outbreaks in 2017 and 2019 that may have contributed to three deaths. The Agency noted the increased consumer consumption of RTE dips and spreads, their susceptibility to bacteria growth due to ideal pH and water activity levels, and consumption without a “kill step” (e.g., cooking, frying, pasteurization, etc.) contribute to the significant public health risk of such products.
FDA specifically indicated all three Listeria monocytogenes contaminated products originated from the same manufacturer due to the absence of effective sanitation controls. The Agency recalled such products and underscored the benefits of adhering to good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and implementing preventative controls. FDA is reviewing the results of the assignment to identify common factors or patterns related to contamination of RTE dips and spreads, develop guidance, and update program priorities.