The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture has approved a hide wash that decreases the level of E coli on animals before slaughter.
Applied as a wash or misted on livestock, the bacteriophage - environmentally friendly and biodegradable bacterial viruses - has been proven to reduce the level of E coli O157:H7 on live animals prior to slaughter.
The application has further potential for treating other parts of the food chain wherever live animals are present, in holding or transport.
Developed and manufactured by Utah-based OmniLytics Inc., the bacteriophage works by only targeting specific bacteria strains without compromising any beneficial micro flora or fauna.
Last fall the US Food & Drug Administration approved its use as a food additive for the treatment of Listeria in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.