A total of 227 samples, including oysters, shrimp, and water, was collected along the U.S. Gulf Coast and examined to determine the presence of Listeria spp. Listeria spp. were recovered more frequently from shrimp than from water but were not recovered from oysters. Recovery of Listeria spp. from shrimp and waters was improved at temperatures ≤20°C; however, recovery was not affected by salinity or related to the fecal coliform standard for shellfish-growing waters. Although only 5% of the test samples were positive for L. monocytogenes, all Listeria positive shrimp contained L. monocytogenes. The incidence of Listeria spp. in shrimp was low; nevertheless, shrimp represent a potential source of Listeria contamination to processing plants and their products.

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