All the latest news on current and past research on the hygienic processing of foods from the Food Refrigeration & Process Engineering Research Centre (FRPERC).


Prior to slaughter or harvest the surfaces of animals and produce can be contaminated to a varying degree by both pathogenic and spoilage bacteria.  Obtaining microbially clean raw food materials is difficult.  There is no terminal step (such as cooking) to eliminate pathogenic organisms from many raw products, such as meats, until they reach the consumer, and in the case of many fruits and vegetables no terminal step at all. 

For over twenty years we have carried out research on developing different methods and treatments for reducing the microbial contamination on such products while striving to maintain the intrinsic nature of the food, e.g. a treated chicken carcass should still look ‘raw’.  Many of these studies have been carried out in collaboration with partners at the University of Bristol and the University of Lincoln, and have been funded by the Food Standards Agency.  We have also worked with companies to develop bespoke systems to meet their precise needs.  We have also carried out studies on identifying and improving processing steps that prevent contamination or cross-contamination occurring in the first place.

Find out more about hygienic processing in our publications, articles and links below.  A full list of our publications on hygienic processing topics can be found here.  For more about our past work on this topic please read our research reviews on hygienic processing of red meat, poultry and produce and other foods.

Our articles on hygienic processing

Development of a atmospheric steam treatment vessel - Chris James describes the development of atmospheric steam treatments vessels used by FRPERC.

Interesting links on hygienic processing

Beef decontamination technologies - Keith Belk, Colorado State University

Beef carcass decontamination - by PURAC suppliers of lactic acid

A Quantitative Assessment of Consumers’ AttitudesTowards Raw Meat Decontamination Treatments - FSA report

Decontamination tactics in war on meat pathogens - article by Rod Addy in Food Production

Meat Decontamination: Needs, Approaches. Benefits, Concerns - article on The Meat Site

Hygienic processing