Ecolab, a leading producer and marketer of cleaning, sanitising and pest control products and services, has announced the introduction of a new innovative treatment aimed at combating bacterial contamination of cooked meats.

Ecolab says Octa-Gone is the first fatty acid-based antimicrobial treatment that reduces microbial contamination on ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products. In fact, the company says Octa-Gone "virtually eliminates" the possibility of post-treatment contamination by bacteria and pathogens because it is applied to the packaging itself just before the meat is packed.

"Octa-Gone provides an extra layer of food safety protection for our customers," says John Tengwall, vice president of Food & Beverage at Ecolab. "The value of this product to our industry cannot be stressed enough. Octa-Gone is cost-effective and simple to apply. It's effective against microbial pathogens without affecting the colour, flavour or appearance of the RTE meat product, and it's approved as a processing aid by the USDA (Department of Agriculture); therefore no additive labelling is required for processors. It's a revolutionary product that is going to change the way RTE manufacturers run their packaging lines."

Tengwall says the key to Octa-Gone's effectiveness lies in the timing of when it is applied. The treatment is applied directly into packaging bags immediately before ready-to-eat meats are placed inside and sealed. The packaged and sealed product is then sent through a hot water shrink tunnel, tightening the package and spreading the Octa-Gone treatment over the entire surface of the RTE product.

Octa-Gone is also designed for ease of application, says Ecolab. "When adopting the new Octa-Gone product into their plants, Ecolab customers gain access to the 24-hour, 7-day-a-week technical support and service that the company is known for in the food and beverage processing industry," Tengwall said.