Christeyns Food Hygiene tackles biofilm detection with new product

Product has been developed by Betelgeux-Christeyns and Madrid Complutense University

Foodborne diseases are on the rise. The annual report on trends and sources of zoonoses, published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in December 2018, showed there were 5,079 foodborne and waterborne outbreaks reported in 2017, an average of 100 such outbreaks per week, some of which affected several countries.

Foodborne diseases comprise a broad group of illnesses caused by microbial pathogens, parasites, chemical contaminants, and biotoxins and are one of the biggest issues facing the food processing industry, potentially responsible for widespread health problems and reduced productivity.

Microorganisms can colonise by adhering to living or inert surfaces and become large enough to entrap organic and inorganic debris, nutrients, and other microorganisms, leading to the formation of a microbial biofilm.

Because of their complex structure, biofilms provide a protective function to the microorganisms that they host, decreasing the efficacy of disinfection treatments.

The presence of biofilms in food processing installations, therefore, represents a great risk for food safety and may also cause operational problems in equipment.

Biofilm development can occur on almost all surfaces and in any environment where there are viable microorganisms, including those made of plastic, glass, metal, or wood, or food products themselves.

The sticky, viscous matrix develops on surfaces that favour its adhesion - porous, scratched or rough surfaces- and that have been subjected to a poor cleaning and disinfection program. Ironically, more aggressive cleaning to remove the biofilm leads to further deterioration of the surface area and thus can aid biofilm growth in the longer term.

Although removing a biofilm from a surface can be difficult, biofilm control is possible with fast and simple detection tools and disinfectants capable of destroying the biofilm matrix.

Biofilm detection

TBF 300S is a new biofilm detection product on the market. The new launch has been introduced in the UK market by Christeyns Food Hygiene (CFH).

The product is a patented innovation that has been developed by Betelgeux-Christeyns in collaboration with Madrid Complutense University.

CFH said the TBF 300S is available in foam or liquid format, does not require specialised personnel or complex equipment and provides accurate results in a few minutes.

“Offering this product in the UK is a great step forward in the battle against biofilm,” said Peter Littleton, CFH Technical Director. “The use of specific dyes to stain the extracellular matrix of biofilms allows visual identification and avoids possible interference from other residues that may be present and thus any false positives.”

Now being used by several processing plants in the UK, TBF 300S has proved to be effective in identifying the presence of biofilm in food, dairy and beverage operations.

Brian McBride, Dairy Manager Belton Farm, commented: “It’s amazing to think that a few years ago it was impossible to quickly and simply detect live bacteria and biofilm contamination, and now I can see them appearing in front of my eyes. TBF300S could make a valuable contribution to our biosecurity tool kit.”

How it works

TBF 300S is sprayed directly onto the surface in question and left for 5 minutes. The test area is then rinsed with water and any remaining pink colouration on the test surface indicates the presence of biofilms.

Christeyns Food Hygiene, based in Warrington, a specialist in its field, develops and manufactures food and beverage hygiene solutions and is part of the Christeyns UK group of companies.

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