Preventing Biofilms on Meat Processing Equipment

Project Title

Bacterial Metabolites as Natural Antimicrobials for Controlling Biofilm Formation by Pathogens


Xianqin Yang, AAFC Lacombe

Status Project Code
In progress. Results expected in April, 2023 POC.11.21


Biofilms are bacteria’s way of lumping together on surfaces which makes them harder or impossible to kill with regular sanitization methods. It has been suggested that Shiga toxin-producing E. coli’s (STEC) ability to form biofilms may be what leads to higher incidence of STEC contamination in packing plants. This team has previously shown that STEC and Salmonella species were inhibited from forming biofilms when they were cultured with some other bacteria commonly found on meat processing equipment(called meat processing bacteria or MPB).


  • To evaluate the inhibitory effects of the cell-free culture supernatant (CFS) of three bacterial strains on the biofilm formation by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium.

What they will do

These researchers want to identify what these anti-biofilm compounds these MPB bacteria are producing, what levels are needed to combat biofilms, find the genes responsible for these compounds, and understand how these compounds act to inhibit STEC and Salmonella from forming biofilms.


This research could help to lead to improved cleaning practices in meat processing plants that are more effective at preventing biofilms and therefore further reducing food safety risks associated with Canadian beef products.