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

Light Treatments

Ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation is commonly used in hospitals and laboratories for decontamination of surfaces, air and water. UV treatment has been used for a number of years in water purification and research is ongoing into the application of UV directly to foods. UV is an electromagnetic wave, lying outside the band of visible light. It has low penetrating power because it is a low energy wave, and its effectiveness is markedly affected by irregularities on the surface treated. Visible light can effect microbial destruction through the photo-dynamic effect, where toxins such as singlet oxygen ions are formed by light-absorbing molecules (photosensitisers). The intensity of visible light used for decontamination must be many times greater than the intensity of sunlight to have any practical benefit.

Download more information on Light Treatments

Post evisceration, during chilling and post pachaging
Intervention Type
Surface exposure of carcasses, primals and products
Treatment Time
10 seconds or prolonged

UV treated water is used as a carcass rinse

Approved for food contact surfaces and some brines and marinades

Good where the product is exposed to the treatment

Irregular shaped items may prevent uniform exposure
Likely Cost
Unable to Ascertain
Value for Money
Likely to be good
Plant or Process Changes
A 10-min treatment cabinet will take up a lot of space in a boning room, UV lamps can be retro-fitted within cold rooms and display cabinets
Environmental Impact
Energy is required
Occupational Health and Safety

The unit would require proper shielding

Exposure to UV light can cause skin cancer and damage the eyes
Can be used on packaged product, so no risk of recontamination
Disadvantages or Limitations
Can induce rancidity


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