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

Interventions used during Chilling

Chilling itself causes a slight reduction in microbial count on carcasses. Spray chilling is commonly practised in North American meat processing but has had limited uptake in Australia. Some studies have investigated the incorporation of an organic acid and acidified sodium chlorite into a spray chilling system. If an establishment chooses to apply this technology, it must satisfy the Food Standards Codedefinition of a processing aid (FSANZ 2006) i.e. there is no residue on the final product. Also, it should not result in any increase in carcass weight. Ionization of the air, or the use of Ultraviolet (UV) lights in coolrooms may help to reduce the microbial load on the product.

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End of line chilling or freezing
Intervention Type
Cooling of product
Treatment Time
24-36 hours
Accepted Worldwide
Fair: 0.3-0.7 log reduction
Likely Cost
Depends on type of chilling system eg. blast, plate etc.
Value for Money
Plant or Process Changes

Installation of powerful refrigeration units will be needed for ultra-low temperature chilling

Spray chilling will require tubing and spray nozzles installed

Most systems should retro-fit into existing chill rooms
Environmental Impact
Refrigeration equipment requires energy.
Occupational Health and Safety

Spray systems result in wet, slippery floors

Ultra-low temperature chilling can result in ice formation inside the chill room. Staff should wear appropriate protective clothing including gloves.

Part of the existing process

Spray chilling can give a reduction in chiller weight loss but as the increase is due to extra moisture concentrated in the outer fat layers this is only of benefit when processing very lean animals that do not require removal of external fat.

Spray chilled carcasses, although they have a colder external surface, may be easier to bone than conventionally chilled carcasses at the same temperature, due to the moister, softer external fat layer.

Spray chilling can give a whiter fat colour on the external primal surface.

Disadvantages or Limitations

The microbial reduction is slight

Unless chillers are designed to achieve the required temperatures they may be incapable of achieving the desired results.

Carcasses chilled to a very low surface temperature may be more difficult to bone and in most cases will incur a financial penalty at slower boning speeds.


More information on Cold Treatments

More information on Light Treatments

Information on Chemicals that may be used in spray-chilling:

Acidified Sodium Chlorite

Organic Acids

Peroxy Acid


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