Bacteriophages, Natural Predators to Bacteria, Could Reduce Meat Salmonella by 90%

By ACSH Staff — Jun 22, 2016
Old science could be a new way to kill salmonella in meat. Research shows that treating meat products infected with four types of salmonella using Myoviridae bacteriophages during mixing led to the bacteriophages invading the cells of the bacteria and destroying them.

Salmonella bacteria can cause diarrhea, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps. It is estimated to cause one million foodborne illnesses in the United States every year, causing 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bacteriophages, natural bacteria predators, may come to the rescue.

Research presented at the international American Meat Science Association’s conference in Texas showed that treating meat products infected with four types of salmonella using Myoviridae bacteriophages during mixing led to the bacteriophages invading the cells of the bacteria and destroying them. Even more good news is that bacteriophages are commonly found in our environment, so there is no reason to object to old science being modernized.

But environmental groups object to science on principle and though bacteriophages are viruses that can only harm specific bacterial cells, and are harmless to humans, animals and plants, so are genetically modified foods -- and we saw what has happened there. Don't be surprised if Environmental Defense Food claims something will go extinct, Mother Jones rewrites their press release on demand, and SourceWatch earns their dark money funding by attacking all science groups who accept evidence.

“On the final ground meat products, there was a 10-fold decrease of salmonella,” said Assistant Professor Amilton de Mello, from the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at the University of Nevada, Reno. “The results are very encouraging and we’re hoping this can be adopted by the meat industry to increase food safety.”