Paint barrier

A Yorkshire paint manufacturer has developed a product which it claims will help food processors in the fight against harmful bacteria.

Johnstone's Paints' Microbarr anti-bacterial coatings were developed to inhibit the growth of E.coli and other bugs. Stringent tests in Japan showed 99.9% of bacteria were eradicated with 18 hours where Microbarr had been painted on to walls and other surfaces, according to the company.

Johnstone's claimed its product was different from other anti-bacterial paints on the market because, instead of using chemicals in the paint to kill bacteria, which deteriorate over time, it uses silver ions which actively prevent bacteria from multiplying.

The silver in the Microbarr coating cannot be removed by wiping or washing so its effectiveness does not reduce.

Dr Ronald Cutler, principal lecturer in infectious diseases and pathology at the University of East London was involved in the testing of Johnstone's new paint. He said: "Any area where food is processed or prepared must meet stringent hygiene standards, particularly surfaces and equipment.

"However, any agent that could help improve hygiene and combat the spread of bacteria in these environments is welcome."

The paint is designed to be used in areas where hygiene protection is required and where surfaces are prone to more than average amounts of wear and tear.