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

Natural Antimicrobials, Bacteriophages and Parasitic Bacteria

Natural products such as sugar, salt, vinegar, or herbs and spices have long been used to preserve foods and slow the onset of spoilage. Recently, extracts and essential oils of certain plants have been shown to have antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, as well as imparting flavour to foods. Some have shown promise as potential food safety interventions when added to ground beef. Micro-organisms themselves produce substances that are inhibitory to other bacteria, and this property potentially could be harnessed and used in food production. There are also bacteria that prey on other micro-organisms, and bacteriophages, which could be used to prevent spoilage and reduce the risk of food poisoning

Download more information on Natural Antimicrobials, Bacteriophages and Parasitic Bacteria

Packaging or retail
Intervention Type
Surface treatment, mixed into product or impregnated into product packaging
Treatment Time
Incorporated into product or packaging
Some oil extracts approved in EU, US and Australia, other bacteriocins, eg. nisin, have approval in US only (nisin is under consideration in the EU)
Potentially – if used as part of whole of chain microbial reduction approach
Likely Cost
Value for Money
Cost of extraction may be very expensive
Plant or Process Changes
Not likely to be a huge impact as can be incorporated into processing eg. impregnated into packaging, included in product mixing etc.
Environmental Impact
Minimal impact
Occupational Health and Safety
No issues identified
Some oil extracts may add a flavour benefit to the meat product eg. rosemary, garlic, cloves
Disadvantages or Limitations

Cost of extraction of some antimicrobials may be too expensive for some applications

Some food components may inhibit the bacteriocins

May limit markets due to changing product characteristic eg flavour


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