IEH Academy

Control of Listeria Monocytogenes in Food Production

Course details

Self-Paced eLearning


2 hrs.

Dr. Gene Bartholomew

Listeria Monocytogenes (Lm) is a pathogen associated with fully cooked or Ready-to-Eat (RTE) foods for over 40 years. This pathogen continues to pose a significant problem for processors and consumers because of its resistance to harsh environmental conditions. This course is designed to guide the implementation of the many factors that are necessary to control Lm and the verification activities that must be put in place.

Benefits and Learning Objectives

This course is devoted to teaching sanitation practices and equipment design to eliminate Lm from the processing environment and paying attention to GMPs that may contribute to contamination during processing and traffic pattens that may bring in. This course provides a detailed monitoring scheme for ensuring these practices are effective. Finally, the course provides a negative Listeria control equation that neatly understandably ties the entire process.


Students will progress through a series of modules that address the following subject matters:

  1. The need for Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) control
  2. Conditions that favor Lm growth
  3. The typical sources of Lm in the processing environment
  4. How Listeria gets transported within the plant 
  5. How to assess whether your sanitation program is adequate
  6. How to identify Lm via an efficient sampling, testing, and environmental monitoring program
  7. How to develop a control program to reduce the risk of product contamination and growth of Lm


Who Should Take this Course?

Who Should Take This Course

  • QA managers and staff
  • Anyone responsible for environmental monitoring
  • Sanitation supervisors
  • Facility engineers and maintenance
  • Purchasing managers
  • Production supervisors and plant management

Course Instructors

Dr. Gene Bartholomew

Vice President, Technical Services - IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group

Dr. Gene Bartholomew joined IEH as Vice President of Technical Services in 2019. He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in microbiology from Cornell University and a B.S. in biology from Bucknell University. Dr. Bartholomew began his professional career at International Paper in 1983 as a research scientist. During his 15 years there, he commercialized and validated an aseptic packaging system, managed a beverage pilot plant and its laboratory, started taste panel testing for the company, and advanced to manage several products, and development groups. Dr. Bartholomew then joined Smithfield Foods Packaged Meats. He started in the John Morrell Group as the corporate director of food safety for 7 meat processing and slaughter facilities and 1 spice plant. He later took on the role of Senior Director of Corporate Food Safety, during which he was responsible for 14 meat processing plants and several FDA-regulated plants. Throughout his 20-year career at Smithfield, he led HACCP plan design and validation, thermal processing, regulatory compliance, sanitation, allergen control, and environmental pathogen monitoring. He also managed a corporate microbiology laboratory and its accreditation, has certifications in HACCP training, BRC, and SQF schemes, and is a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual. Dr. Bartholomew was a founding member of the North American Meat Institute Listeria Control Workshop and has taught numerous courses to members of the food industry.