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Non-fouling food contact surfaces - prevention of biofilm and surface-mediated cross-contamination

Boce Zhang; Yanuang Luo
University of Massachusetts
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Sanitary design and sanitization are critical steps to help ensure food safety and prevent pathogen cross-contamination mediated by Food Contact Substances (FCS). In response to CPS RFP priority 1.1.3 (Lm preventive controls) and 1.3.1 (Preventive controls for packing and holding operations), this project will develop an applicable intervention strategy to further enhance the non-fouling properties of FDA-approved FCS against Lm biofilm. Specifically, we will 1) evaluate 304/316 stainless steel, plastic, and wood substrates and a series of FDA-approved FCS for their non-fouling properties against Lm and other normal flora biofilm formers unique to the fresh produce industry; 2) enhance FCS performance through simple and cost-effective physical modification of surface microscale topography. Original and enhanced FCS will be further screened to identify top-performing FCS that prevent Lm biofilm under simulated industrial processing condition; and 3) determine which of the top-performing FCS are consistent with industrial use, including material properties and integrity, and sanitization efficiency. Project outcomes will provide scientific information to the industry in selecting materials to support sanitary design of packing, holding, and processing equipment and apparatus, coatings and coating modifications to simplify cleaning and sanitization, and to prevent pathogen attachment and biofilm formation on FCS for both new and retrofitted equipment.

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Bacterial Pathogens