After extensive in-line trials, UK-based poultry processor Faccenda Foods implemented SonoSteam technology, a minimal processing technology that uses steam and ultrasound to reduce the risk of foodborne diseases.

Results from the SonoSteam trials showed more than an 80% reduction in Campylobacter on the neck and breast skin of fresh, whole chickens, measured at the point in time when the consumer would typically purchase and cook the chicken. SonoSteam kills Campylobacter and other microorganisms on the skin of chickens through the simultaneous application of both steam and ultrasound, a process that takes just 1.5 seconds.

The SonoSteam equipment, manufactured by FORCE Technology, Denmark, was installed and commissioned in December 2014, with trials completed every week from January to May 2015.

“While the industry is agreed that there is no silver bullet to solve the Campylobacter problem, we are very excited by results from our in-line trials, which prove that SonoSteam will work in the real world,” says Andy Dawkins, managing director of Faccenda Foods. “There is still a great deal of work for us all to do, but as part of our wider Campylobacter Action plan, I’m in no doubt that SonoSteam will help us significantly reduce levels of Campylobacter and improve food safety for consumers.”

“It’s important not to underestimate just how challenging it was to successfully conduct a technology trial in-line,” says Niels Krebs, vice president of SonoSteam. “The investment so far has been very significant, but the results show it has been worth it. Faccenda Foods now has a proven intervention [that] is ready to operate on a continuous basis and can be applied to every chicken on the line. Importantly, the in-line trials have proven that SonoSteam can be a key technology in helping the poultry industry significantly reduce the risk from Campylobacter.”

SonoSteam is another first for Faccenda Foods, having previously led the industry with its Roast in the Bag products, developed in partnership with Asda. The innovative packaging means consumers can put the product straight in the oven without having to handle any raw chicken, taking food safety in the kitchen to another level.

Here is a video of the chickens undergoing SonoSteam technology.