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Research

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Research Call

DAFM Reference

Lead(Collaborating)Institution

DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2014 14/F/881 Teagasc, (CIT) €525,625

Project Title:

Assuring the safety of mushrooms by the introduction of novel processes to reduce Listeria monocytogenes biofilms and environmental contamination in mushroom production facilities

Project Coordinator:

Dr Kaye Burgess

Project Abstract

Mushrooms are Ireland’s most valuable horticultural crop, produced in 75 growing facilities. The sector is driven by the export market to the UK. The recent detection of Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially lethal foodborne pathogen, in Irish mushrooms and in mushroom production facilities is a cause of extreme concern to the industry. The ubiquitous nature of Listeria in the environment, coupled with its ability to form biofilm and persist in processing environments, is of particular concern. Safemush will address these concerns by developing new technologies, which can be employed by the mushroom industry, to prevent contamination of the production environment with Listeria by reducing/controlling biofilm formation, thereby enhancing the safety assurance of their crops. Selected bacteriophage, pathogen controlling bacteria and bacteriocins will be examined for suitability as biocontrol agents within the mushroom production environment, which can be used in synergy with current disinfection and cleaning methods. The application of such treatments will be guided by an in-depth analysis of the mushroom production chain to determine where the greatest likelihood of contamination occurs. The efficacy of current and novel treatments will be tested on biofilm forming cultures and their utility and impact demonstrated in pilot-scale growing conditions

Final Report:

Not available yet.