FDA approves new food processing aid against E. Coli


The new product produced by Micreos is made from phages

Micreos will expand its targeted pathogen reduction technology portfolio. It has announced that PhageGuard-E, a new surface intervention to combat E. coli O157 on food products, will now be available for the US beef industry.

The findings are of particular interest to beef processors looking for natural and effective post harvest interventions, reducing E. coli O157 on beef carcasses, primals, subs and trimmings. Recent research conducted at the University of Neveda demonstrated superior results of PhageGuard-E surface spray on E. coli O157 contaminated fresh cold beef compared with currently used chemicals.

Unlike harsh chemical interventions, phages are harmless to plant workers and do not damage equipment, concrete floors and water-treatment installations.

This makes PhageGuard a smart, green and easy to apply solution. As a natural product it meets increasing consumers' demand for minimal use of chemicals. Unlike traditional chemical treatments, PhageGuard-E kills E. coli without affecting the organoleptic properties of treated food products, such as taste, odour or texture.

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in food products forms a serious public health concern, with close to 5000 cases recorded last year in the US alone. They can produce toxins, which can cause kidney failure and anaemia due to destruction of the red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. This is called haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) and is especially dangerous for small children and the elderly.

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Bert de Vegt, Managing Director at Micreos Food Safety: "Raw or undercooked ground meat products remain the primary source of STEC concern and outbreaks. We are pleased to be adding this tool to support the US meat processors in their constant quest to deliver safe food, and we look forward to working with the industry to implement the technology. Food safety is a non-competitive priority for all."