The Institute of Food Technologists reported this week that researchers at Cornell are investigating a new coating for food contact surfaces that offer even greater resistance to bacteria and other microbes.

According to food science professor Julie Goddard, the polymer used in the coating can not only resist microbial adhesion, but also inactivate any microbes that do manage to adhere. In particular, Goddard says that the coating “has been shown to inactivate 99.999% of Listeria monocytogenes,” the bacteria behind many of the biggest food recalls.

If all goes well, the coatings are expected to be commercially available in the next few years.