Meat Industry Services

Food Safety Interventions Information

Click on the links below to access information on interventions available at each stage of the meat production process

Contents Page Introduction to Interventions On Farm Processing - hide on Processing - hide off Chilling Packaging or Retail

Electromagnetic Radiation

Electromagnetic radiation is widely accepted as a method of heating foods prior to consumption, and can cause destruction of bacteria, probably due to heating. Microwave treatment of cooked product can be an acceptable decontamination intervention, but on fresh product, it tends to give uneven heating, and discoloured, partially cooked areas appear. Alternatives include dielectric and infra-red heating.

Download more information on Electromagnetic Radiation

Intervention Type
Exposure to radiant energy
Treatment Time
Few seconds to several minutes

No specific restrictions

Widely used for cooked products
No consensus in the literature
Likely Cost
Not known although microwave technology used in other industries is expensive due to the protective shielding necessary
Value for Money
Difficult to ascertain
Plant or Process Changes
Protective shielding to avoid radiation exposure will need space allocation. However, if used as a thawing process, may be able to reduce holding areas or better utilise space
Environmental Impact
Utilises energy
Occupational Health and Safety
Radiation leaks must be prevented and controlled

Can be used on packaged product

Radiofrequency heating is more uniform and more precise control of the process

Microwave heating can reduce thawing time from hours to minutes

Disadvantages or Limitations
Microwave causes uneven heating and product discolouration


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