By Cyndi Root
Natural solution against Salmonella expected to be used in food facilities early this year
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have both approved a new solution in the fight against Salmonella. The product, Salmonelex, is being called “a bacteriophage cocktail Salmonelex for bio-control of Salmonella in food,” by its manufacturer, Netherlands-based Micreos — a leader in bacteriophage technology including research, development, production, and quality control.
The company filed for a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) exemption in July 2013 and received approval in December. Micreos successfully argued in its application that bacteriophages have been granted GRAS classification before and that its product is effective in eradicating Salmonella. Additionally, the company notes that Salmonelex is non-virulent and contains no undesirable genes. Micreos expects Salmonelex to be widely used in the coming months.
Salmonelex joins Micreos’ list of products, like Listex — used against Listeria monocytogenes found in fish, meat, cheese, fish, fruit, and vegetables — that protect the food supply chain. The new Micreos product is made for use in food processing plants, especially poultry factories. The bacteriophage does not just inhibit the growth of Salmonella, it eliminates the bacteria. The company sees the phage as an advanced solution since it targets just the Salmonella and does not affect the taste or texture of food. Salmonelex is a topical spray that kills even antibiotic resistant strains of Salmonella and prevents cross contamination. According to Micreos, Salmonelex can be easily integrated into manufacturers’ current procedures, after slaughter and during processing.
When Salmonella is consumed with food, the bacteria live in the intestinal tract and cause digestive problems and diarrhea. The rod-shaped, gram-negative, microscopic Salmonella family includes over 2,300 types. Two types are common in the U.S. are Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Enteritidis. Both pose a significant danger to the food supply, in developed countries as well as emerging economies. According to the USDA, Salmonella is the culprit of most food poisoning incidents. The FDA and the USDA, along with other agencies, farmers, food processors, consumers, and companies like Micreos, are addressing the processing cycle from farm to table in order to prevent contamination and illness.
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