A European Network

For Mitigating Bacterial Colonisation and
Persistence On Foods and Food
Processing Environments

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Food-borne Outbreaks

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Food-borne outbreaks associated with bacterial pathogens result in major health problems and economic loss to the public and industry, respectively. In addition to the economic impact, there is a concomitant loss of consumer trust which results in an unestimated monetary cost. Persistence and biofilm formation are two important issues in food safety as they lead to continuous recontamination during food processing, which is another major issue for the food industry. The epidemiological investigations of foodborne outbreaks demonstrated that almost 25% of the outbreaks could be traced back to recontamination, which includes cross-contamination and contaminated equipment. Internalisation of pathogens into fresh produce is also of special concern as internalised bacteria are unlikely to be removed by the current disinfection methods. Coping with these problems and thereby decreasing the incidence of food-borne outbreaks associated with bacterial pathogens necessitate a better understanding of the mechanisms behind bacterial attachment, colonisation, biofilm formation, persistence and development of antimicrobial resistance both at the cellular and molecular levels.

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