Evaluating sanitisers for widespread use in the Australian chicken meat industry

The University of Adelaide

  • Project code: PRJ-010543

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Tuesday, August 1, 2017

  • Project completion date: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 4-Ensuring food safety of Australian chicken meat


Australian Standards for processing of meat in Australia, although outcomes based are still prescriptive on how to achieve the outcomes. This is useful for both processors and auditors however opportunity is provided to be able to vary the requirements by seeking the approval of the Controlling Authority which is the authority responsible for the enforcement of the Standard in each State or territory. Several interventions are in place from a meat chicken farm to a processing plant to reduce or control the load of food borne pathogens on Australian chicken meat. In the processing plant, chicken meat can be contaminated during scalding, defeathering and evisceration. Carcasses are commonly washed in the processing plant with systems of washers using chlorinated water to remove the surface contamination. Chlorine has been widely used for poultry processing in Australian chicken meat industry but due to staff health and safety concerns or customer perception there may be a need to identify a suitable replacement for chlorine. There are a number of chemicals that have been tested on chicken meat to reduce microorganisms that cause foodborne illnesses however some chemicals are either not registered/approved for use or trialled in the field in Australian conditions. The proposed project will involve reviewing the published literature on the efficacy of various sanitisers used in the chicken meat industry. The selected chemicals will be tested by small scale lab based and in plant trials if suitable.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The University of Adelaide

Objective Summary

• To review the literature summarising the mechanism of action, costs, advantages and disadvantages of sanitisers used in the chicken meat industry in Australia and other parts of developed world .
• To collate and/or establish acceptable and or safe chemical limits from the literature and identify knowledge gaps.
• To demonstrate acceptable process control is achieved and comparable to current practices in Australia by the use of selected alternative chemicals either by small scale trials or in plants using alternative chemicals. This would be carried out by sampling the number of carcasses required as determined from the step above prior to the wash/chill system and after the wash chill/system with chemical parameters identified.
• To identify the number of birds from a lot (ie flock) that need to be sampled in a processing plant to validate process control (statistically) by enumerating Campy levels on carcasses