Food safety practices evolve as new technology and knowledge of the pathogens that spread foodborne illnesses becomes available.
In recent years, researchers have increasingly focused efforts on biofilm and its ability to thrive in nature and in food production and processing facilities. Biofilm is formed by a pathogen — or more often, a mixture of different pathogens — that builds a protective layer using extracellular polymeric substances (EPS).
A majority of foodborne illnesses can be traced to pathogens housed in biofilms, according to food safety research. Academics and food trade associations have stepped up efforts in recent years to learn more about biofilm, which naturally fights efforts to sanitize food contact surfaces in processing and manufacturing facilities.
Recent studies have looked at products and practices to eradicate or control biofilms in different segments of the food industry, from produce to meat processing and poultry farms.