Excel Corporation, a leading supplier of beef and pork, today announced that the company will begin in-plant testing of a new antimicrobial spray developed by Ecolab Inc.

The spray, Inspexx(TM) 200, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Inspexx 200 is one of the most effective red meat carcass treatment available today and is used at concentrations 100 times lower than other treatments on the market," said Dr. Richard Higby, senior market manager, Meat and Poultry at Ecolab. "This means lower chemical usage, reduced discharge considerations and reduced risk to the worker environment."

The product is based on Ecolab's advanced peroxyacid technology and is effective against pathogens that potentially could contaminate a carcass surface, including Salmonella typhimurium, Listeria monocytogenes, and E. coli O157:H7.

"We have conducted laboratory tests and preliminary line trials of Inspexx 200 and were impressed with the results," said Dr. Dell Allen, Excel's vice president of quality and food safety. "We now want to back up those findings with more extensive on-line evaluation in our beef processing facilities."

Excel has signed an exclusive-use agreement with Ecolab for eight months, during which time Excel will evaluate Inspexx 200 in its processing plants. After that, the spray will be available to the industry.

Dr. Allen said Excel hopes that Inspexx 200 will be another important weapon in its fight against pathogenic contamination. In 1995, Excel co-developed steam pasteurization technology, which has been shown to be highly effective in destroying bacteria on beef carcass surfaces.

Excel is a Cargill Foods company. Based in Wichita, Kan., Excel is a leader in providing innovative red meat solutions to customers and consumers. Its website is http://www.excelmeats.com.

Ecolab is the leading global developer and marketer of critical environment sanitation systems and products for institutional, food processing and pharmaceutical markets. Ecolab news releases and other investor information are available on the Internet at http://www.ecolab.com and by telephone at 800-FACT-ECL.