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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of using recycled hot water as a decontamination technique for meat carcasses1

Andreoletti, O; Budka, H; Buncic, S; Collins, JD; Griffin, J; Hald, T; Havelaar, AH; Hope, J; Klein, G; McLaughlin, J; Mueller-Graf, C; Nguyen-The, C; Nörrung, B; Peixe, L; Prieto, Maradona M; Ricci, A; Sofos, J; Threlfall, J; Vanopdenbosch, E; Vågsholm, Ivar


For carcass decontamination purposes, only use of potable water is currently allowed in the EU. However, recycling (i.e. reusing after reheating) of the water used for carcass decontamination has been practiced in some countries (e.g. Canada, Denmark), because environmental and energy-preserving reasons. In this document, potential microbiological and abiotic risks for carcasses associated with recycled hot water decontamination, and related control options, were considered. It has been concluded that the decontamination efficacy of recycled hot water does not differ significantly from that of hot potable water. With recycled hot water, only microbiological risks associated with heat-resistant bacterial spores (C. botulinum, C. perfringens, C. difficile and B. cereus) are relevant. These risks can be controlled through ensuring that recycled hot water is verifiably subjected to such reheating and frequency of renewal regimes which ensure that the microbiological risk in recycled water is not higher than in hot potable water. For abiotic risks, the only concern with recycled hot water derives from the potential presence and accumulation of residues of veterinary drugs and other chemical contaminants not addressed in Council Directive 98/83/EC in the water for decontamination of poultry carcasses


Contaminants; decontamination; HACCP; recycled hot water; spores; veterinary medicinal products

Published in

EFSA Journal
2010, volume: 8, number: 9, article number: 1827
Publisher: European Food Safety Authority

Authors' information

Andreoletti, Olivier
Budka, Herbert
Buncic, Sava
Collins, John Daniel
Griffin, John
Hald, Tine
Havelaar, Arie H
Hope, James
Klein, Gunter
McLauchlin, James
Müller-Graf, Christine
Nguyen-Thé, Christophe
Nörrung, Birgit
Prieto Maradona, Miguel
Peixe, Luisa
Sofos, John
Threlfall, John
Vanopdenbosch, Emmanuel
Alexander, Jan

UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)