A limited sampling of fish products at both the wholesale and retail levels demonstrated that ready-to-eat fish products such as shrimp and smoked salmon are often contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This study shows that growth of the organism at 4°C occurred on artificially inoculated cooked crabmeat, lobster, shrimp, and smoked salmon. The organism generally grew better on crab and lobster. L. monocytogenes was also observed to multiply slowly on naturally contaminated shrimp. Given the low levels of L. monocytogenes found on cooked fish products and their relatively short shelf life, unless these products are temperature abused, Listeria contaminated fish should not represent a serious health hazard.

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