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The present study was conducted to determine the influence of strain and trisodium phosphate (TSP) concentration in the growth of Listeria monocytogenes in vitro.Three strains (ATCC 11916, 64d, isolated from chicken meat, and M2-5b, a clinical animal isolate) were inoculated in broth with 0, 0·5, 1 and 1·5% (w/v) of TSP. The shortest lag phase and highest maximum rate of growth (μ) were obtained in the presence of 0·5% TSP. In contrast, the highest lag phase and lowest μ were obtained with 1·5% TSP. For each TSP concentration, significant differences (P < 0·05) in lag phase and μ of the three L. monocytogenes strains were observed.The behaviour of L. monocytogenes is significantly influenced by both the origin of the strain and the salt concentration.Our results indicate the importance of choosing an adequate TSP concentration for the decontamination of foods, because low concentrations could favour the growth of L. monocytogenes.