‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Environmental Monitoring Edition

Nov 29, 2021

By Josie Greve-Peterson, Corporate Microbiologist


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the plant,
Microorganisms were hiding from our disinfectant.

QA technicians were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of swab-sponges danced in their heads.

The Plant Manager in her cap, and I in my smock,
Had fired up our brains for a data trending talk.

When out from the Micro Lab there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.

Away to the testing area I flew like a flash,
Opened the door and threw up the biosafety hood sash.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a bacterium that causes foodborne illnesses and fear.

Having a Gram-positive cell membrane, and being ubiquitous bacteria,
I knew in a moment that this bug was Listeria.

Growing at cold temperatures and preferring wet places,
It can cause a deadly disease, so cover all your preventative bases.

Like monitoring the environment, it should be conducted just right,
While sampling with a sponge-stick, I document each site.

“Now Zone 1! Now Zone 2! Now Zones 3 and 4!
On slicers! On dicers! On the ceiling and the floor!

Check equipment framework! Check joints in the wall!
Now swab away! Swab away! Swab away all!”

Once samples are taken, they are tested in a lab,
If results come back positive, we get out chemicals and scrub pads.

Each positive is Listeria, thus we need to remove the niche,
With intensified sanitation, these bacteria we will ditch. 

With a wink of my eye and a twist of my head,
I directed corrective actions, to prevent any further spread.

Before leaving the plant, from a team-effort so bright,
I exclaimed to the crew, “Happy Holidays to all, and to all a safe night!”


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