This proposed study will be an integrated project examining the antimicrobial effects of bacteriophages in edible coating in combination with natural antimicrobials to control foodborne pathogens in ready-to-eat foods. The proposed study will focus on
<br>study 1: evaluation of antimicrobial activity of bacteriophages obtained from a biotechnology companyagainst foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhimurium, and Escherichia coli O157:H7,
<br>study 2: evaluation of antimicrobial activity of bacteriophages in edible coatings/films containing essential oils in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods,
<br> study 3: determination of shelf life and sensory quality of RTE foods treated with edible coatings containing bacteriophages and essential oils during refrigerated storage, and
<br>study 4: Application and dissemination of bacteriophage technique for undergraduate and graduate level courses and to food industry.
Ready-to-eat foods such as roast beef, lettuce, and cantaloupe will be artificially contaminated with foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhimurium, and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Edible coating containing Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhimurium, or Escherichia coli O157:H7 specific bacteriophages and natural antimicrobials will be applied on inoculated samples to evaluate antimicrobial activities of bacteriophages in combination with natural antimicrobials. Sensory evaluation will be conducted on uninoculated samples to determine sensory panels' preference on bacteriophages and natural antimicrobial treated samples.