The poultry industry is faced with compounding pressures of maintaining product safety and wholesomeness while keeping up with consumer trends of all-natural foods and label accuracy. Consumers are increasingly demanding that their foods be minimally processed and contain compounds that are easily read and recognized, i.e., products must be clean labeled. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe several natural antimicrobial agents that can be incorporated into poultry processing. These compounds and their essential oils were included in this mini-review because they are generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are considered clean label: thyme extract, rosemary extract, garlic, and oregano. This list of natural antimicrobial agents by no means includes all of the options available to poultry processors. Rather, this review provides a brief glance at the potential these natural antimicrobial agents have in terms of reduced pathogenicity, increased shelf stability, and sensory acceptability through direct product application or as part of the product packaging.

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