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Bacteriophages as Biocontrol Agents in Food

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Bacteriophages possess attributes that appear to be attractive to those searching for novel ways to control foodborne pathogens and spoilage organisms. These phages have a history of safe use, can be highly host specific, and replicate in the presence of a host. Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes and various spoilage organisms have responded to phage control on some foods. However, the use of phages as biocontrol agents is complicated by factors such as an apparent requirement for a threshold level of host before replication can proceed and by suboptimal performance, at best, at temperatures beneath the optimum for the host. This review is a summary of the information on these issues and includes brief descriptions of alternative phage-based strategies for control of foodborne pathogens.

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Safety Programme, ESR Ltd., P. O. Box 29-181, Ilam, Christchurch, New Zealand 2: Food Safety Programme, ESR Ltd., P. O. Box 50348, Porirua, New Zealand

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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