Ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry product samples collected between 2005 and 2017 from RTE producing establishments for the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS’s) ALLRTE/RTEPROD_RAND (random) and RTE001/RTEPROD_RISK (risk-based) sampling projects were tested for Listeria monocytogenes ( Lm ). Data for 45,897 ALLRTE/RTEPROD_RAND samples collected from 3607 unique establishments and 112,347 RTE001/RTEPROD_RISK samples collected from 3283 unique establishments were analyzed for the presence of Lm . These data were also analyzed based upon the percentages of establishments with positive samples, as well as annual production volume, sanitation control alternative, geographic location and season/month of sample collection.  Results showed low occurrences of Lm -positive samples from the random and risk-based sampling projects, with 152 positive samples (0.33%) for ALLRTE/RTEPROD_RAND and 403 positive samples (0.36%) for RTE001/RTEPROD_RISK, respectively. The percentages of positive samples significantly decreased over time, from about 0.7% in 2005-2006 to about 0.2% in 2017 (P<0.05). During the 2005-2017 time period, 3.9% of establishments sampled under the ALLRTE/RTEPROD_RAND sampling project had at least one Lm -positive sample.  Similarly, 10.0% of establishments sampled under the RTE001/RTEPROD_RISK sampling project had at least one positive sample. Positive Lm samples were found in all geographic regions in all months.  Thus, in 13 years of RTE product sampling in FSIS-regulated establishments (2005-2017), less than 0.4% of samples were positive for Lm in both risk-based and random sampling projects. The low percentage of Lm in these products suggests that the combination of FSIS policies and industry practices may be effective in controlling Lm contamination. Information obtained from these sampling projects is relevant to the ongoing prevention of foodborne Lm illnesses from RTE meat and poultry products.

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