The aim of this study was to obtain data from refrigerated ready-to-eat seafood products at retail in Spain
(young eels, crabstick and smoked salmon), regarding prevalence and levels of Listeria monocytogenes,
storage temperatures and the impact of transport conditions (type of bag) on the temperature of the
product. The one-year surveillance period was carried out according to the EC Regulation No. 2073/2005,
taking 5 units/batch and analyzing 250 samples following ISO 11290-1/A1 and ISO 11290-2/A methodologies.
Low prevalence of L. monocytogenes was observed in surimi products, while 4.8% of smoked
salmon samples were positive for Listeria with low levels (<10 cfu/g) and uneven pathogen distribution.
A single company was responsible for 80% of the positive lots. All purchased products showed values
higher than 4 C at retail and an average increase of 2.5 C or up to 6.2 C was recorded when isothermal
or plastic shopping bags were used for transport, respectively. To avoid noncompliance of the Food Safety
Objective for L. monocytogenes in seafood RTE products more efforts from all stakeholders are needed,
with special attention so as to improve control and maintenance of refrigerators at retail and to enhance
consumer education regarding food safety practices.