There was a small item in the Times on Wednesday;I thought it was nothing serious. However, this morning I see Yahoo news picked it up and are running with it, so here it is: essentially ADDING spray-on bacteria to deli meats to induce a mini-bacteria warfare on your Rueben.

I think I'm gonna be a little sick.

Ham and Virus on Rye, Please [from the]

Add a stew of bacteria-killing viruses to the already complicated safety protocols for food produced on an industrial scale.

The Food and Drug Administration recently announced that it is safe to spray a mix of six viruses on deli meats like bologna, liverwurst and ham. These foods are generally not cooked after they are purchased, and so they are particularly vulnerable to listeria, bacteria that can cause listeriosis, especially dangerous for pregnant women, fetuses and newborns.

For years the agency wanted manufacturers of such products to clean up their plants so that listeria could not survive. But it turned out to be easier to spray the mix of viruses, called bacteriophages, on the meat to kill the listeria, than to get the plants to clean up.

The agency says the virus mixture is safe. Does that mean children can eat hot dogs right out of the refrigerator?

If a bacteriophage that kills E. coli bacteria is approved, some will say it won’t be necessary to clean up the slaughterhouses.


Anonymous said…
Bacteriophage - how very ST: Voyager...
Bo said…
Ack. That's nearly as bad os irradiated beef. Sometimes I wonder why I ever stopped being a vegan!

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