To determine the incidence of Listeria monocytogenes in raw milk, an isolation method was evaluated and used to analyze milk from three areas of the United States. The incidence varied by area from 0% in California to 7% in Massachusetts, with an overall incidence of 4.2%. The highest incidence found in any area during a single sampling period was 12% in Massachusetts in March 1985. During that same sampling, the incidence for all Listeria species was 26%. Of the 27 L. monocytogenes strains isolated during the survey, 25 were pathogenic in adult mice. One of three Listeria ivanovii isolated was pathogenic. No other isolates demonstrated pathogenicity.

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