Scientific Opinion on the evaluation of the safety and efficacy of Cecure® for the removal of microbial surface contamination of raw poultry products

Decontamination, poultry, Cecure®, cetylpyridinium chloride, efficacy, toxicological safety assessment, antimicrobial resistance, environmental impact
First published in the EFSA Journal
29 mars 2012
21 mars 2012
Scientific Opinion


On request from the European Commission, results of studies submitted with an application for potential approval of Cecure® to be used for the removal of microbial surface contamination of raw poultry products were assessed to evaluate its safety and efficacy. The proposed treatment consisted of an aqueous solution containing cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) as the active ingredient at a concentration not to exceed 1% and propylene glycol (PG), applied by drenching on whole chicken carcasses and recycled after use. Based on the available evidence, there is no concern for genotoxicity of CPC. Taking into account the estimated margins of safety and the conservative exposure estimates used to assess CPC exposure from consumption of poultry carcasses, there are no safety concerns for humans from the proposed use of Cecure®. Based on the information provided by the applicant, both Cecure® and CPC were found to be efficacious in reducing contamination with pathogenic microorganisms on fresh broiler carcasses. The efficacy of the treatment appeared to be influenced more by the concentration of the active ingredient (within the range of 0.2% to 0.5%), than by the volume of solution applied, flow rate, spraying pressure, rate of carcass processing, and time of exposure. The data about the potential emergence and selection of isolates with reduced susceptibility to biocides and/or resistance to therapeutic antimicrobials linked to the use of CPC under the conditions of application, in the recycled solution and in the wastewater, were not provided or not considered sufficient for the assessment. Based on the available limited data, the intended use of CPC in poultry slaughterhouses would pose risks for the environmental compartments surface water, sediment and soil. No risks for the function of sewage treatment plants are expected and there are no safety concerns regarding secondary poisoning for birds and mammals, and for humans indirectly exposed via the environment.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Olivier Andreoletti, Herbert Budka, Sava Buncic, John D Collins, John Griffin, Tine Hald, Arie Havelaar, James Hope, Günter Klein, Kostas Koutsoumanis, James McLauchlin, Christine Müller-Graf, Christophe Nguyen-The, Birgit Nørrung, Luisa Peixe, Miguel Prieto Maradona, Antonia Ricci, John Sofos, John Threlfall, Ivar Vågsholm and Emmanuel Vanopdenbosch.
Panel on Biological Hazards
Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
biohaz [at]
cef [at]
EFSA Journal 2012;10(3):2612
On request from
European Commission