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UV-C Pathogen reductions –In-pack chicken breast

Skinless chicken breasts were inoculated with either Salmonella spp.or Escherichia coli before being vacuum shrink wrapped and treated with an 80 mJ/cm2 dose of UV-C iradiation to determine the microbial reduction.


UV-C treatment of meat in pack can potentially increase the safety of food with minimal risk of post process contamination. The trial assessed the feasability of UV-C for in-pack decontamination on a variety of pathogens.

Main conclusions 

UV-C in-pack treatment had an impact on the level of pathogens present in the chicken samples.

E.coli was more succeptable to UV treatment with log reductions of 1.49 ±0.36 cfu/100 ml.

Salmonellawas less succeptable with log reductions of 0.68 ±0.29 cfu/100 ml


Skinless chicken breasts were purchased from a local UK wholesaler. The breasts were spray inoculated with an intial load of around 4 log CFU/100 ml of either Salmonella or E.coli.

The breasts were vacuum shrink wrapped by exposing the packaging to 85°C for 2 sin UV-C transmisable packaging (around 65% transmission). The packaged breasts were then passed through a UV-C tunnel delivering a UV-C dose of 80 mJ/cm2 within the packaging.

The level of microorganims on the treated breasts were compared to the control samples to determine the log reduction achieved.

What was investigated/ examined/ measured

The average microbial reduction achieved for each pathogen.

Parameter 1 Population of Salmonella on treated breasts

0.68 ±0.29 cfu/100 ml

Parameter 2 Population of E.coli on treated breasts

1.49 ±0.36 cfu/100 ml

More about


Contact persons

Danny Bayliss

New Technology Research Manager
+44 (0) 1386 842130

Robbie McGill

Process Technologist
+44 (0) 1386 84 2464