FFP have tested and approved a patented ‘Touchguard’ silver ion coating that inhibits up to 99.7% of microbial growth on the outside of printed or plain packaging film, providing manufacturers and retailers with an important tool to help them protect their customers from bacterial cross-contamination. The antimicrobial coating is available as an option on all FFP designs, including Esterpeel heatseal lidding films and Estercook roast in bag packs.
Mitigation of microbial contamination of the outside of packaging is becoming more important to support a safe supply chain. Campylobacter bacteria, one of the most dangerous pathogens present in the food chain, has been found to contaminate the outside of up to 7% of poultry packaging tested at retail, equating to around 44 million packs per year, while a study by Leeds Metropolitan University discovered coliform bacteria on the packaging of more than 40% of the foodstuffs they tested.
The patented coating does not affect packaging line operations in any way and is undetectable by the consumer. Testing by Smithers Pira has shown that FFP’s anti-microbial packaging is safe for use even when the packaging is placed in the oven, for example to roast a whole chicken. The new coating is applied in-house by FFP and is now available both as an option on existing designs or may be included in new packaging specifications, including FFP’s ovenable Estercook range.