Study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reveals the high efficacy in pathogen reduction and non-toxicity concerns regarding the use of Peracetic Acid (PAA) in poultry and meat cleansing.
In the EU contamination risks resulting from disease causing micro-organisms are minimised by having adequate controls, exemplary hygiene and preventative action in place throughout the processing of food. However, the use of chemicals such as Peracetic Acid in the decontamination of poultry and meat has not been implemented in the EU despite widespread use by trade partners such as the United States.
After the resubmission of an authorisation request for the use of Peracetic Acid by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the EFSA has produced an in-depth report examining its safety and efficacy in poultry and meat cleansing.
Growing food poisoning concerns in the UK
The need for looking into alternative methods of preventing contamination are a result of the significant threat in the UK and Europe of illnesses caused by the consumption of food contaminated with disease-causing micro-organisms such as Salmonella or Campylobacter.
UK Food Poisoning Statistics:
• More than 500,000 cases of food poisoning a year from known pathogens
• 280,000 Campylobacter cases making it the most common foodborne pathogen
• 2,500 Salmonella cases each year
• 244,000 poultry meat food poisoning cases each year
The study assessed whether the use of the substance significantly reduced the level of contamination of pathogens on poultry meat and carcasses as well as the safety of solutions with peracetic acid as the active ingredient in the following conditions:
• Spray treatment of warm carcasses
• Dip treatment of both warm and chilled carcasses and parts
• Chiller baths treatment of carcasses
The results of the study by the EFSA provide evidence for the benefits of the usage of PAA in the decontamination of poultry carcasses and the decision is now pending on EU risk managers to decide whether or not to permit the use:
1. No concerns relating to dip treatments of PAA.
2. No toxicity concerns of residues of PAA as compounds are unstable and break into acetic acid and water.
3. Statistically significant evidence of Salmonella prevalence reduction
4. Salmonella and Campylobacter on chilled carcasses when dipped.
5. Spraying of warm carcasses was less effective than dipping
Find out more about Peracetic Acid. Also, follow our news for the latest updates on this development.