The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the use of activated lactoferrin on fresh beef.

Lactoferrin is a protein found naturally within biological fluids, such as milk and saliva, at mucosal surfaces and within white blood cells. Research has shown it can protect fresh beef against E. coli O157:H7 and more than 30 different types of pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella and Campylobacter. The technology is unique in that it prevents pathogenic bacteria from attaching to meat surfaces, in addition to preventing growth.

“USDA approval is a significant milestone for activated lactoferrin and marks the final regulatory step needed to bring this food safety technology to market,” said Eric Hale, President, ALF Ventures, LLC, a partnership between Farmland National Beef Packing Company L.P. and DMV International. “This is great news for consumers, who ultimately will benefit from the enhanced safety it will bring to the beef they enjoy.”

Farmland National Beef, the USA’s largest producer-owned beef processor, expects to be the first company to offer fresh beef protected by activated lactoferrin, once final application systems development and testing is completed.

“Food safety continues to be a top priority for Farmland National Beef,” said John Miller, CEO of Farmland National Beef. “The approval of activated lactoferrin moves this exciting new technology one step closer to the consumer.”