Adipose tissue discs were coinoculated with Brochothrix thermosphacta and homologous bacteriophages (phages) to determine the effects these had on phage multiplication, bacterial growth, and off-odor development during storage at 2°C or under simulated retail display at 6°C. In the presence of about 105 bacteria/cm2 and an equivalent number of phages, there was a 3-log increase in phage numbers and a 2-log decrease in bacterial numbers, and objectionable off-odors were suppressed during refrigerated storage. Up to 68% of the surviving bacterial population were resistant to phages. The storage life of adipose tissue could be increased from 4 days in controls to 8 days in phage-treated samples by preventing the development of off-odors associated with the growth of B. thermosphacta. Phages may provide a novel approach to extending the storage quality of chilled meats.

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Author notes

Contribution number 979 from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.