FDA approves phage-based product as food processing aid against E. coli

September 19, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) notice to Micreos for its PhageGuard-E, a new surface intervention to combat E. coli O157 on food products. Unlike harsh chemical interventions, phages are harmless to plant workers and do not damage equipment, concrete floors, and water-treatment installations. In addition, unlike traditional chemical treatments, PhageGuard-E kills E. coli without affecting the organoleptic properties of treated food products, such as taste, odor, or texture.

The GRAS notice identifies PhageGuard-E’s intended use as “an antimicrobial on beef carcasses, subprimals, beef cuts, and trimmings intended for ground beef at an application rate of up to 1x109 plaque forming units per gram of food.” Micreos has confirmed that industrial scale projects with U.S. meat processing companies are set to start shortly.

“Raw or undercooked ground meat products remain the primary source of STEC [Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli] concern and outbreaks,” said Bert de Vegt, managing director at Micreos Food Safety. “We’re pleased to be adding this tool to support the U.S. meat processors in their constant quest to deliver safe food, and we look forward to working with the industry to implement the technology.”

Press release

GRAS notice