According to the Associated Press, a researcher at Texas Tech University applied a mixture of four different lactic acid bacterium to ground beef and found the combination reduced the presence of salmonella and a harmful E. coli strain by as much as 99.99 percent.
Researcher Mindy Brashears said the mixture is the first post-production treatment that continues to work. It was effective for up to 60 days in frozen ground beef and about a week in refrigerated beef, Brashears said.
The study also showed the mixture doesn’t affect how meat tastes.
Brashears’ study was published in the Journal of Food Safety. The mixture will be marketed by Indianapolis-based Nutrition Physiology Corp.
The Food and Drug Administration said the mixture was safe for beef and poultry products. It isn’t known when the treated meat carrying special labels will hit the market, and basic food safety practices will not be changing for the time being.