Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/29/2008
Publication Date: 9/15/2008
Citation: Annous, B. 2008. Biofilms on produce and food handling/processing surfaces [abstract]. TAPPI-Polymers Laminates Adhesives Coatings Extrusions (PLACE).Portsmouth,VA. p.1. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The rise in the number of produce-related outbreaks, coupled with the lack of an effective intervention, has given rise to an intense research effort into the ecology of human pathogens in the field and food preparation environment. Human pathogen cells have been found to be capable of attaching to and colonizing the surfaces of growing plants as well food-processing surfaces. It is now becoming clear that once attached, human pathogens are capable of forming biofilms on these surfaces. A biofilm is generally defined as an assemblage of bacterial cells adherent to each other and to an inert or living surface, and are enclosed in a protective layer of self-produced exopolymers. The presence of biofilms in processing environments increases the opportunity for contamination of finished product. Research from this laboratory has shown that biofilm-associated cells were resistant to all major aqueous sanitizers common in the food industry such as chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, and quaternary ammonium compounds. This presentation will discuss the nature of biofilm formation in general and novel technologies capable of inactivating biofilm-associated cells on produce and food processing surfaces.