Special Issue "Biofilms in Focus: A Threat to Foods"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 January 2020.
Prof. Dr. José Juan Rodríguez-Jerez
The world of microbiology is changing—consumers and taxpayers are not aware of it, and neither are many of the technicians involved in food safety. Nowadays, there is a silent problem related to microbiology, and particularly, to food microbiology. That is, the biofilms formation, and its inhabitants’ resistance to cleaning, disinfection, and antibiotics.
Little by little, without being aware of it, the presence of pathogenic microorganisms on food products have been increasing. Pathogens such as Escherichia coli Shiga-toxin producers, Listeria monocytogenes, or Yersinia enterocolitica are becoming more frequent. They are microorganisms that are clearly sensitive to common disinfectants, such as sodium hypochlorite or quaternary ammonia, that have already been used in disinfection for several hundreds of years, but which are not eliminated in food facilities after the disinfection process. Is it because of a new resistance to disinfectants? Clearly not—in recommended concentrations, the justification lies in its great capacity to produce biofilms, a very effective form of resistance, which allows them to survive, grow, and colonize large areas. Bacteria’s ability to adhere to industrial surfaces and to subsequently trigger biofilm formation has significant implications within the food industry, especially for their consequences regarding public health and economic productivity. Today, L. monocytogenes is already the pathogen with the highest mortality in Europe and the United States, and one of the main causes of the pathogen contaminating a product is because of cross-contamination from surfaces. Moreover, we cannot forget the presence and interaction between pathogens and spoilage microorganisms, because of the interaction between them, which is essential in order to assure a quick and stable biofilm structure. Perhaps more time and research are needed in order to be able to include these structures as a priority in food control—meanwhile, hundreds of deaths accumulate in the statistics.
Prof. Dr. José Juan Rodríguez-Jerez
Dr. Carolina Ripolles-Avila
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Food microbiology
- Food safety
- Food control