The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved a virus mix in spray form that kills bacteria on prepackaged meats. This approval was given last month.
Processed meats after being packaged get contaminated by the bacteria; Listeria. The approved spray is a combination of viruses that kill this bacteria. Food companies can now spray it on these foods before packaging and distribution.
This virus mix is not effective against E. Coli or Salmonella, other potential fatal oraganisms sometimes found in food. The spray would be available in another 6-month's time.
Similar to E.coli, Listeria cannot be washed away. Only cooking of the food or application of these viruses or bacteriophages kills Listeria. Listeria causes serious illness in nearly 2,500 people and death in around 500 people each year.
In spite of the FDA's assertion that the spray is safe for human and animals, some feel that there is a possibility of development of harmful reactions once applied to these prepackaged foods.
The spray would be applied on foods like hot dogs, sausage and sliced lunchmeats, such as turkey and ham.
Listeria bacterium is present in the soil, the water, within the intestines of animals that generate food.