Even Heir (1969) has since 2003 been a research scientist at Nofima, Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research. He has a PhD on bacterial resistance to disinfectants from 1998. Main research activities include strategies for control of bacteria in food and food processing environments. Even Heir has led and been involved in several national and EU-funded research projects. In nearly all projects, applied aspects and close collaboration with food industry partners including knowledge transfer and implementation of research data to the food industry are integrated parts of the projects. In recent years, a particular research focus has been on the Listeria situation in the food and seafood processing industry including strategies to obtain enhanced control of this pathogen in the salmon processing industry.
Strategies for control of Listeria on fresh and cold-smoked salmon
The risk of pathogens in the production process of certain fish products represents a major challenge for the industry and a health threat for consumers. Listeria monocytogenes are pathogenic bacteria with the potential to have serious consequences for parts of the fish industry, e.g. the salmon industry. Control of Listeria in the processing and products of salmon requires strict hygienic measures but this can not ensure Listeria-free products. The salmon industry has therefore shown an increasing interest in methods providing elimination or reduction of Listeria when applied directly on salmon products. We have evaluated strategies for the control of L. monocytogenes on fresh and cold-smoked salmon. Strategies providing both Listeria kill and growth inhibiting effects were tested and included UVC and pulsed UV light, desliming, and treatments using organic acid salts and acidified sodium chlorite. The benefits and limitations for use of such methods in the salmon industry will be discussed according to effects on Listeria and product quality (e.g. sensory properties) of treated products.