The behavior of Listeria monocytogenes during the manufacture and storage of Greek Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheeses
Among the numerous traditional cheese varieties produced throughout Greece today, 21 cheeses have been granted the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, whereas others are awaiting recognition. The Greek PDO cheeses include all types of cheeses (hard, semi-hard and soft cheeses).Several studies worldwide have reported the occurrence of Listeria spp. including Listeria monocytogenes in raw milk from sheep and goats. The majority of the Greek PDO cheeses are manufactured by a mixture of sheep and goat milk, which can be used raw, or after pasteurization.According to the European Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 and its amendment by Regulation (EC) 1441/2007 food business operators are responsible for ensuring product compliance with the new food safety criteria including those specified for the food-borne pathogen L. monocytogenes. The ability of L. monocytogenes to proliferate during the manufacture and storage of permissive ready-to-eat foods is probably the most important factor regarding the risk for listeriosis.Currently, there are published studies pertaining to the behavior of L. monocytogenes in seven PDO cheeses (Feta, Galotyri, Graviera, Kasseri, Katiki, Manouri and Pichtogalo Chanion). This chapter aims at reviewing the available scientific literature regarding the behavior of L. monocytogenes in these Greek PDO cheeses, as well as the different interventions that have been proposed aiming at preventing the pathogen's proliferation. © 2012 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.