Research – Biofilms are a concern across the entire food supply chain

Food Safety News

kswfoodworld biofilm

Biofilm, which is a cluster of pathogens encased in a protective matrix, is a common enemy across diverse food manufacturing industries.

From dairy, produce, meat, poultry, ready-to-eat deli foods and other products, biofilm is a concern at the farm level and at processing and manufacturing plants.

The protective layers generated by pathogens that create the biofilm, known as extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), resist sanitation efforts and are adept at spreading in moist environments, through a process known as “seeding dispersal.” According to Sterilex Industries, which offers products to treat biofilms and the pathogens they harbor, seeding dispersal is similar to a dandelion releasing seeds to encourage species growth.

Although forming biofilm is a natural process that pathogens — including those commonly leading to foodborne illness outbreaks, such as Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella — use to survive, industry food safety plans and government regulations don’t necessarily focus on biofilm and how to eradicate it.

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