WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has proposed changes Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) sampling programs for ready-to eat meat and poultry products.

The agency plans to increase the number of product samples collected under its routine Risk-based Lm (RLm) sampling program and the intensified verification protocol to five samples per sampling unit, up from three. FSIS also said its laboratories will composite the five 25-g. product samples from the RLm sampling program which will increase the sample size of the analyzed test portion to 125 g.

The agency said the proposed changes will increase the chances of finding positive results, which will help keep contaminated food products out of the marketplace. In addition, the revised practices will conserve laboratory resources and align FSIS practices with international practices, according to the agency.