THE FOOD SAFETY CRISIS
We are currently experiencing a food safety crisis. There are over 120 million cases of foodborne illnesses from cross-contamination each year, of which 76,000 are fatal.
These illnesses are mass spread via the processing facilities in the food and beverage industry. Currently, facilities rely on stringent cleaning and sanitization routines to try and combat against contamination. However, cracks and crevices in the walls and floors provide areas where deadly microbes can survive these cleaning processes. Surviving microbes then recontaminate the product line which can result in dangerous outbreaks that endanger lives.
Antimicrobial coatings prevent recontamination and save lives.
CASE STUDY: JENSEN FARMS OUTBREAK
The 2011 United States experienced a widespread outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning across 28 states. The outbreak was caused by contaminated cantaloupes linked to Jensen Farms, Colorado.
Listeria monocytogenes contaminated the water on the floor of the processing plant, it was transferred to the conveyor belt and then onto over 300,000 cantaloupes. The resulting outbreak resulted in 147 people being hospitalised and 33 fatalities.
What was most concerning was the Jensen Farms had passed a food safety audit six days before the outbreak. This shows that whilst they were taking precautions to clean and sanitize their processing factory, microbes were able to survive these regimes and go on to recontaminate the factory.