Fouling of process plants from food fluids is a major practical problem that lowers plant efficiency and endangers product safety. As a result, frequent process plant cleaning is needed, and cleaning-in-place (CIP) protocols are well developed. It is less clear whether they are optimal, however. Recent progress in fouling and cleaning research is reviewed. Advances in computational modelling and nanotechnology may enable developments in modelling cleanability at the design stage and in developing surfaces that resist fouling and speed cleaning.