Pathogen-resistant technology to the rescue

Articles
October 14, 2009

Pathogen-resistant technology to the rescue

An estimated 76 million people in the United States get sick every year and 5,000 die from foodborne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

An estimated 76 million people in the United States get sick every year and 5,000 die from foodborne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Overall concern in the past few years has been heightened when it comes to food safety, which has prompted more than 600 bills that address food safety issues to be introduced to state legislatures this year. 

The statistics show that consumers lack confidence in food safety. A recent IBM survey showed that only 20% of consumers trust food companies to develop and sell food products that are safe and healthy for themselves and their families. 

More people are staying home to eat as a result of the current economic climate these days, which could mean a rise in foodborne illness resulting in improper food handling and storage at home. Some companies are pioneering technological efforts to introduce products that will help reduce foodborne illness not only in factories and restuarants where food is prepared, but additionally for food safety in the home.

One of these companies is Microban Technology based in New York City. Microban works with food suppliers and manufacturers to create pathogen-resistant features for processing equipment and tools such as hoses, mop handles, conveyor belts, and storage containers. 

But this technology is not just for food suppliers, it is also being incorporated into home refrigerators. Refrigerators are using antimicrobial shelving, such as Amana's side-by-side units with Microban technology built into its door bins.

About ten years ago, Microban began incorporating antimicrobial ingredients into hard goods and textiles. Then four years ago, the company began introducing this technology to the food industry. 

There has been a lot of talk about relying more on new technologies to help communicate food recalls. In addition, new technologies can play an important role in finding solutions to prevent incidences and reduce risks. 

For more information visit http://www.microban.com.