Contamination of meat during slaughtering and processing of carcasses is inevitable. However, provided Good Farming and Good Manufacturing Processes are strictly adhered to, the Level of contamination can be kept in check. This is the most instrumental strategy towards assuring the safety of muscle foods. As a final line of defence, and an integral part of a consolidated HACCP approach, a 'terminal treatment of carcasses, primals and meat cuts with decontaminants may then be considered. This contribution illustrates this approach to meat safety by considering the combined effects of hygiene and organic acids on the bacteriological condition of meat. Finally, it is shown that organic acids fulfill additional criteria set by the EU authorities for decontaminants of meat.