A.R.S. testing antimicrobial treatment for produce

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — The Agricultural Research Service is testing an antimicrobial treatment that may help the fresh-cut produce industry.

The treatment uses submicroscopic agents that may not reproduce or grow outside bacterial host cells. The purified viral agents are called bacteriophages and may help kill E. coli 0157:H7.

The bacteriophages were tested on fresh-cut cantaloupe and reduced the number of pathogens on the sample by 100-fold compared with untreated samples. The research also found the bacteriophages were just as effective in killing bacteria on fresh-cut lettuce.

The bacteriophages are present in the environment and only attack bacterial without having an adverse effect on humans and animals.

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