Bacteriophages are bacterial viruses discovered at the beginning of the 20th century. Insufficient knowledge of the biology of phages and the intense development of antibiotic therapy caused the interest of scientists in bacteriophages to decline right away after the discovery thereof. Attempts are now being made to solve the problem of microbiological safety of food through the use of bacteriophages in the whole food chain including the direct elimination of bacteria from the surface of food and of the surface of equipment contacting food. The ability to infect exclusively specific bacterial cells, no impact on the corrosion of equipment and surfaces in food processing plants, and no effects on the sensory characteristics of food products are those significant advantages of phages, which call for applying them as food protecting means. Veterinary medicine struggles with a very widespread problem of antibiotic resistance; therefore, the potential is explored of bacteriophages used as agents in preventing and treating bacterial infections in breeding animals. To this purpose, the phages are applied in the form of aerosols or they are placed in capsules designed to ensure protection against inactivation by the low pH of gastric acid. The hitherto conducted studies also confirm that bacteriophages do not have any significant toxic effect on organisms of people and animals. The phages are an attractive alternative to the up to now applied antibiotics and disinfectants. Based on a wide range of applications of phages in the food chain, it is possible to significantly reduce the number of food poisoning in the world. The objective of this study was to present the most recent literature data on the application of bacteriophages at each stage of the food production chain commonly called “from farm to table” and to introduce the latest research on the use of bacteriophages to quickly and easily detect bacterial pathogens in food.
bacteriophages, pathogens, encapsulation, biosensors