Knowledge Base

Eliminate Listeria On Ready-To-Eat Salmon With Bacteriophages

by | Oct 9, 2020

Smoked Salmon processing has inherent risks for Listeria contamination for many reasons. These include the fact that fish enter processing with naturally occurring contamination and that there are many opportunities for cross-contamination. PhageGuard Listex can help Smoked Salmon producers reduce their Listeria risks on the product itself as well as on processing equipment and environmentally. 1-3 log reduction can be expected on product and 2-5 log on critical process equipment such as slicers and belts and on environmental hot spots. PhageGuard Listex can be used during processing as it is a GRAS processing aid and it does not react away with food debris.

What are Bacteriophages and how can they help eliminate Listeria?

Bacteriophages (“phages”) are the most abundant micro-organisms on this planet. Phages are 100 times smaller than bacteria.

Phages cannot be seen under a normal microscope, yet their collective biomass is larger than that of all humans combined.

Phages are harmless to humans, animals, and plants. Phages use bacteria for their multiplication. Via this mechanism, phages contribute to environmental homeostasis, the situation wherein none of the bacterial species in a biosphere becomes dominant. Every 48 hours 50% of the entire global bacterial population is effectively destroyed by phages.

Phages are the natural enemy of bacteria and whilst there are ‘broad spectrum’ phages that kill a variety of bacterium – using a phage to kill the specific bacteria (only) that you are having an issue with is safer and more effective.

The are best applied to Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Fish via dipping the fish in, or spraying the PhageGuard solution on the product.

The Results of applying PhageGuard to raw salmon fillet:

A study from Mississippi State University, shows a treatment with 107 PFU/g Listex P100 resulted within 30 minutes in a 2-log CFU/g reduction in L. monocyto­ genes and a higher treatment of 108 PFU/g in a 3.5-log CFU/g reduction at 4°C/39°F.

Log Reduction of Listeria on fresh salmon skin & tissue

PhageGuard is more effective on Listeria biofilms than sanitation chemicals

PhageGuard Listex outperforms common chemicals in the presence of food debris(28). This makes it sensible to use PhageGuard Listex as an additional and final spray on critical process equipment AFTER chemical cleaning and a water rinse.

PhageGuard is FSANZ approved doesn’t need to be added to ingredient lists. It is a fantastic control mechanism for Listeria with various applications in Salmon & seafood processing. So lets have a look at how you can implement Phageguard Listex in your seafood processing facility.

Where to best introduce PhageGuard Listex interventions will depend on where the Listeria risks originates

  • Incoming product: treat both sides of the fillet by spraying both sides pre- smoking (or one side and the belt) or add to the brining step
  • Brine or Batter: treat brine or batter
  • Critical process Equipment: spray during slicing and on belts and/or prepackaging on product.
  • Environmental: spray hot spots after chemical cleaning and rinse

PhageGuard Listex will reduce Listeria risks in salmon processing. We will gladly help you determine where in your specific process it can help you reduce Listeria risks for your consumers.

In Summary:

Phages are an incredibly valuable natural resource and harnessing this technology is on the bleeding edge of biotechnology and could instrumentally improve the quality of Salmon coming out of your facility, improve the shelf life of you product and mitigate the risks of listeria in your facility to the product and therefore your consumers.

If you’d like to discuss the use of Phages in your facility, please give us a call or send us an email at

Thanks for reading, share to those who you think would find value in this article.

Stay Safe, The SGA Team.

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