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Int J Food Microbiol. 2013 Jul 15;165(2):169-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.05.009. Epub 2013 May 18.

Use of a bacteriophage cocktail to control Salmonella in food and the food industry.

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Departament de Genètica i de Microbiologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès (Bellaterra), Barcelona, Spain.


The use of lytic bacteriophages for the biocontrol of food-borne pathogens in food and in the food industry is gaining increasing acceptance. In this study, the effectiveness of a bacteriophage cocktail composed of three different lytic bacteriophages (UAB_Phi 20, UAB_Phi78, and UAB_Phi87) was determined in four different food matrices (pig skin, chicken breasts, fresh eggs, and packaged lettuce) experimentally contaminated with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and S. enterica serovar Enteritidis. A significant bacterial reduction (>4 and 2 log/cm(2) for S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis, respectively; p≤0.005) was obtained in pig skin sprayed with the bacteriophage cocktail and then incubated at 33 °C for 6h. Significant decreases in the concentration of S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis were also measured in chicken breasts dipped for 5 min in a solution containing the bacteriophage cocktail and then refrigerated at 4 °C for 7 days (2.2 and 0.9 log10 cfu/g, respectively; p≤0.0001) as well as in lettuce similarly treated for 60 min at room temperature (3.9 and 2.2 log10 cfu/g, respectively; p≤0.005). However, only a minor reduction of the bacterial concentration (0.9 log10 cfu/cm(2) of S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium; p≤0.005) was achieved in fresh eggs sprayed with the bacteriophage cocktail and then incubated at 25 °C for 2 h. These results show the potential effectiveness of this bacteriophage cocktail as a biocontrol agent of Salmonella in several food matrices under conditions similar to those used in their production.

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