The European Commission approved EU regulation 2015/1474 last august concerning the use of recycled hot water to remove microbiological surface contamination from carcases.
Its decission is taken based on a EFSA statement on 2010 according to which «the risk of using recycled hot water is not higher than using drinkable hot water» and its use can have «additional value due to environmental and energy-saving reasons». Therefore, food companies will be able to use recycled hot water to remove microbiological surface from carcase following the next conditions:
- Recycled hot water must be obtained from heating and recycling potable water in a closed and separated system.
- The recycled water must be submitted to:
- a minimal heating temperature/time regime before its application on carcases which must ensure compliance with microbiological parameters of the potable water;
- a renewal regime at the appropriate frequency including, where necessary, skimming of gross particles, filtration and addition of potable water, which must ensure compliance with the chemical parameters of potable water.
- The recycled hot water must only be applied on entire carcases or half carcasses of domestic ungulates and farmed game, under controlled and verified conditions.
- The recycled hot water must not be applied on carcases with visible faecal contamination.
- The application of recycled hot water on carcases must not result in any irreversible physical modification of the meat.
- The application of recycled hot water on carcases must be performed before the carcases are placed in the chilling or refrigerating room.
- The conditions in points 2 and 3 of this paragraph must be integrated in the procedures based on the hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) principles including at least following:
- Sampling of carcases for the purpose of assessing compliance within the meaning of Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 must be carried out before the application of recycled hot water on carcases.
- The minimal heating temperature/time regime applied to recycled water before its application on carcases must be continuously monitored by instrumental measurements, documented and recorded.
- The compliance of the recycled water applied on carcases with the microbiological and chemical parameters set up for potable water must be verified periodically by testing of water, documented and recorded.
- The compliance of the recycled water applied on carcases with indicator parameter of Clostridium perfringens set up for potable water be verified by periodic monitoring, documented and recorded.
Vicente de Pablos es Licenciado y Doctor en Veterinaria y Licenciado en Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos.
Profesional especializado en el ámbito de la Seguridad Alimentaria y la Salud Pública