Fruit and vegetables are susceptible for Listeria contamination. Listeria is found naturally in soil and water. Raw vegetables and fruits can become contaminated with Listeria either through contact with soil or with animal manure that is used as fertilizer.
PhageGuard is a natural and organic food safety intervention. Phages eliminate up to 99.9% of Listeria. Its use has no effect on taste, color, texture and odor of fruit and vegetable products.
Fruits, vegetables, salads and assembled ready to eat foods are at a high risk of Listeria contamination. Processors working with foods susceptible to Listeria are required to have controls to prevent (cross) contamination. Despite these controls, fruits & vegetables often test positive for Listeria.
Bean sprouts, frozen corn, frozen peas, cantaloupe, pre-cut vegetables, prepared salads – food products that recently have been involved in Listeria recalls. During the harvest season, due to the long production runs under moist conditions, Listeria biofilm formation can occur, which result in Liseria contamination.
On fresh fruits & vegetables, PhageGuard can be applied as the final rinse prior to packaging. On frozen items, PhageGuard can be sprayed on the veggies in between the blanching step and the freezer tunnel. The moist condition in the first segment of the freezer tunnel poses a potential risk where Listeria is able to grow. Unlike chemicals, phages can be applied during processing. Applying phages in the pre-freezer both the food product and process equipment are treated. This prevents both biofilms formation and Listeria contamination, resulting in safer products.