Micreos' Phageguard-E gets GRAS status25 Sep 2018
The FDA and USDA have announced they have approved Phageguard-E as a "GRAS" (Generally Recognized as Safe) food processing aid against E.coli O157.
The FDA and USDA have announced they have approved Phageguard-E as a "GRAS" (Generally Recognized as Safe) food processing aid against E.coli O157. The new product consists of natural phages against E.coli and is produced by Micreos of The Netherlands. The company confirmed that industrial scale projects with US meat processing companies are set to start shortly.The announcement will, says the company, be 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 Nevada is said to have demonstrated superior results of PhageGuard-E surface spray on E. coli O157 contaminated fresh cold beef over currently used chemicals.Phages are the natural enemy of bacteria, Micreos notes. Unlike harsh chemical interventions, phages are harmless to plant workers and do not damage equipment, concrete floors and water-treatment installations. This, it says, makes PhageGuard a smart, green and easy to apply solution while, as a natural product, it meets increasing consume' demand for minimal use of chemicals. Unlike traditional chemical treatments, PhageGuard-E is said to kill 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, Micreos notes, with close to 5.000 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.Bert de Vegt, Managing Director at Micreos Food Safety, said: "Raw or undercooked ground meat products remain the primary source of STEC concern and outbreaks. We're 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."