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

Organic Acids

Solutions of organic acids (1-3%) such as lactic and acetic acids are the most frequently used chemical interventions in commercial plants for both beef and lamb dressing. Many other organic acids, however, have been researched either separately or as a mixture for use in chemical washes, including formic, propionic, citric, fumaric, and L-ascorbic acid

Download more information on Organic Acids

Post slaughter - carcass or packing
Intervention Type
Surface treatment of carcass, primals or offals
Treatment Time
10-30 seconds, dependant on solution temperature
Approved in US and Australia, prohibited in EU
1-3 log reduction
Likely Cost
Could cost in the $100,000 to $300,000 range to install a cabinet
Value for Money
If there is an existing wash cabinet, capital cost is low and may be good value – estimated cost of solution A$1.70 per beef carcass
Plant or Process Changes
Spray cabinet will be required
Environmental Impact
Disposal of chemicals may be an issue
Occupational Health and Safety

Acids are irritants, so careful handling is required

Risk of inhalation of irritant

Secure storage of the concentrate will be required

Applied by spray or immersion

Can be used in conjunction with other interventions

Efficacy widely documented in the literature

Possible prolonged inhibition of microbial growth

Disadvantages or Limitations

When applying by spray, the airborne aerosols - particularly of acetic acid - can have a corrosive effect on equipment surrounding the spray cabinet

Concerns about acid-resistance in microorganisms


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