The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is charged with the responsibility to inspect and regulate food in the United States so as to ensure public health and welfare is maintained. In recent months, the FDA has approved the use of bacteria-eating virus as a food additive. As a cocktail of viruses, the product is designed to protect meat and poultry in a convenient spray formula.
Listeriosis is a bacterium that is commonly found in meat and poultry as it maneuvers through the processing plant. While it does not commonly create health complications in humans, it can adversely affect those individuals with compromised immune systems, women who are pregnant, young children and even the elderly. For this reason, many processing plants are now looking for ways in which to reduce the risk for listeriosis in meats and poultry.
In an effort to control public health, the FDA has approved the use of cocktail virus that contain bacteriophage. Bacteriophage are specific virus that are designed to eat specific forms of bacterium. Without affecting human cells and meat products, the spray-on use of this new FDA approved virus destroys bacterium that would otherwise place humans at risk.
Without the use of the bacteria eating virus, individuals who are exposed to listeriosis are subjected to a variety of potential health complications. Fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle stiffness and symptoms generally associated with the flu are quite common. For pregnant women, there is a risk for stillborn fetus and in the elderly and very young children, death may occur.
The meat and poultry at greatest risk for listeriosis infection are those that are pre-cooked and packaged as a ready-to-eat product. While cooking the products should result in destruction of any bacterial risk, there is still a risk for re-infection in some meat processing plants. While uncooked meats are also a risk, if cooked appropriately in your home, you reduce the risk for listeriosis infection.
For many American consumers, the news of a bacteria eating virus used in food products came as a surprise with some consumers increasingly concerned about the ready-to-eat products used in their diet. As a way in which to prevent further infection, the bacteriophage are built into a safe spray that is used in pre-cooked meats, providing protection against a public health complication involving listeriosis. When concerned about your meat purchases, if the risk of listeriosis is of concern, consider cooking all meats in your home before consumption, even those that are labeled ready-to-eat.