Viruses Used to Eat Bacteria in Food

phageIn 2006, the FDA decided that to get rid of one pest, they would use another ‘pest’ to pester the pest…literally, to eat it.  The main pest, listeriosis which is a highly dangerous bacteria is now controlled in processed meats and cold cuts by a spray of the little pests…er…bacteriophage, which is a bacteria eating virus.

Ok, let’s get this straight.  The meats are sprayed by a ‘friendly’ virus to get rid of the dangerous bacteria. Good guys vs. the Bad Guys.  David and Goliath.

A serious read about phages reveals that they may be the factor that is present in certain rivers  that seem to heal those who bathe in them of certain illnesses.  And they’ve been around for ages and are present everywhere…are beneficial and help keep the viruses down.

Still, the thought of eating a piece of processed ‘meat’ (a revolting thought in the first place) that has a coating of good guys and lots of dead bad guys is yet another argument to avoid processed food in the first place.  I just can’t help the ‘eeeewwwww’ reflex!

(Wikipedia has a page on bacteriophages here.)

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