This review summarizes the findings of research focused on ultrasound as a "green", nonchemical technology in the meat industry to improve meat quality and safety. An overview of the importance of the decontamination in meat processing and microbial inactivation using ultrasound combined with some other applications is provided along with results of high power ultrasound studies which have been applied and adapted in the meat industry. The research results revealed that ultrasound by itself or in combination with other processing and/or preservation methods has a potential for improving the general quality, marination and tenderness of meat, preventing microbial growth and recontamination in meat and meat products as well as for the determination of defects in carcasses and cleaning process equipment. This review will provide an interpretation of ultrasound applications, an up-to-date summary of published articles, and an overview of the microbial inactivation in meat and poultry and their products by ultrasound. Since there is a need for not only a pathogen-free product but also a quality product; this review also can be accepted as a report on the results of research in the field of meat quality improvements with ultrasound applications. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.