This guidance has been produced from advice and research available in the public domain. We have drawn together multiple sources of information to help assist management and their individual supply chains to reduce and control Listeria in Ready to Eat (RTE) chilled foods. The guidance is aimed at enhancing and building upon existing HACCP systems.

This guidance takes a realistic practical approach. It accepts that Listeria can never be fully removed from food processing environments, but also states that all members of the supply chain have an equal responsibility to help reduce the incidence of Listeria.

Within the supply chain of RTE foods the final manufacturer (the last link in the supply chain where the food product is made and deemed ready for consumption), is where the majority of the risk of Listeria contamination can occur. For this reason, our guidance offers practical and scientifically backed advice for the final manufacturer and the other members of the supply chain.

It is vital that the final product manufacturer and its suppliers of ready to eat ingredients have robust monitoring regimes and systems for both the foods they produce and the production environments and investigate and rectify each and every Listeria detection.

The guidance MUST be incorporated into your HACCP system that must clearly identify where you are supplying product to the health service.

Sandwich producers MUST foster relationships up and down the supply chain, to embrace the principles of this guidance document, and encourage their suppliers to embrace them as well. Compliance is a prerequisite for supply to health care settings.

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