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ABSTRACT

Microorganisms on wet surfaces have the ability to aggregate, grow into microcolonies, and produce biofilm. Growth of biofilms in food processing environments leads to increased opportunity for microbial contamination of the processed product. These biofilms may contain spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms. Microorganisms within biofilms are protected from sanitizers increasing the likelihood of survival and subsequent contamination of food. This increases the risk of reduced shelf life and disease transmission. Extracellular polymeric substances associated with biofilm that are not removed by cleaning provide attachment sites for microorganisms newly arrived to the cleaned system. Biofilm formation can also cause the impairment of heat transfer and corrosion to metal surfaces. Some of the methods used to control biofilm formation include mechanical and manual cleaning, chemical cleaning and sanitation, and application of hot water.