Can phage control E. coli O157 on raw meatballs?

With an Escherichia coli O157:H7 virulent bacteriophage, M8AEC16, biocontrol efficiency of phages on a highly risky, ready-to-eat, traditional delicacy food called “raw meatball” under different storage conditions was investigated.

bacteriophagePhage, belonging to the Myoviridae family, was isolated from the wastewater of a local slaughterhouse and showed a broad lytic activity toward many E. coli O157:H7 strains with high efficiency of plating and O157 specificity.

Our experimental study provided favorable results, with 0.69–2.09 log colony-forming unit (cfu)/g E. coli O157:H7 reductions in the first 5 h of the replica trials. Major reductions of viable E. coli O157:H7 counts were observed in the beginning of the storage period, reaching up to 1.85 log cfu/g. Although a significant reduction in E. coli O157:H7 was observed with increased phage concentration, storage conditions had minor effect on efficiency of phage biocontrol. This is the first study in Turkey that investigates applicability of phage biocontrol for a traditional food model.

Biocontrol of shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Turkish raw meatball by bacteriophage

Wiley Online Library, Journal of Food Safety, 16 AUG 2015

Yilmaz Emre Gencay, Naim Deniz Ayaz, Gizem Copuroglu and Irfan Erol

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time