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Challenge testing in the Technical Center for Meat

There have been more and more public recalls of food products in the past, especially of meat and sausage products, due to the qualitative detection of Listeria monocytogenes. In Regulation (EC) No. 2073/2005 the microbiological criteria for food are defined.

For L. monocytogenes, there are two different cases: 

  • 100 CFU/g are not exceeded until the end of the shelf life.
  • In 5 subsamples of a batch, no monocytogenes are detected in 25g

bilacon supports you regarding zoonosis monitoring by simulating the complete production line of our customers for the production of, for example, raw sausage on a small scale as part of a challenge test.

What is a challenge test?

In a challenge test the growth behavior of L. monocytogenes in a product is documented. The product is artificially contaminated with L. monocytogenes and stored until the best before date. After inoculation and on the best-before date the content of L. monocytogenes is determined.


Challenge testing at various production steps

At selected production steps, such as the shredding of the raw material, the mincing, the filling or the ripening process, the raw sausage is for example specifically inoculated with L. monocytogenes. With the help of this procedure, bilacon can show whether an inhibition or even reduction of listeria takes place in the course of further production or ripening.

For this purpose, bilacon has set up a technical center in which all its production steps are simulated with the latest equipment.


EURL Lm TECHNICAL GUIDANCE DOCUMENT for conducting shelf-life studies on Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods

This document describes laboratory studies, challenge tests and shelf-life studies related to the growth of
of L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods.  bilacon offers challenge tests in accordance with this guideline for the conduct of shelf-life studies.

bilacon supports you!


bilacon can support you significantly in zoonoses monitoring to ensure your product safety. We offer you the implementation of challenge tests for all production steps according to the guidelines published by the EU so that your products do not have to be recalled due to exceeding L. monocytogenes.

Our experts will be happy to help you! Get in touch right now:

Tobias Stapper
Head of Microbiology bilacon GmbH
+49 30 206 038 370

Benjamin Ebel
Customer Consultant Meat & Meat Products
+49 30 206 038 139

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