Electrolyzed water (EW) is gaining popularity as a sanitizer in the food industries of many countries. By electrolysis a dilute sodium chloride solution dissociates into acidic electrolyzed water (AEW; pH 2 to 3; oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) >1100 mV; active chlorine content 10-90 ppm), and basic electrolyzed water (BEW; pH 10 to 13; ORP -800 to -900 mV). By the use of AEW, vegetative cells of various bacteria in suspension were generally reduced by >6.0 log CFU/ml. However, influenced by factors such as surface type and the presence of organic matter, AEW is less effective on utensils/surfaces and food products. Reductions (log units) of bacteria obtained on surfaces/utensil and vegetables/fruits mainly ranged from about 2.0 to 6.0, and 1.0 to 3.5, respectively. Higher reductions were in particular obtained for tomatoes. For chicken carcasses, pork, and fish reductions ranged from about 0.8 to 3.0, 1.0 to 1.8, and 0.4 to 2.8, respectively. Considerable reductions yielded the use of AEW on eggs. On some food commodities, treatment with BEW followed by AEW showed stronger activity than treatment with AEW only. The EW technology deserves consideration in discussing possibilities for the industrial sanitizing of equipments and the decontamination of food products. Nevertheless, decontamination treatments for food products should always be seen as a part of an integral food safety system. Such treatments cannot replace strict adherence to good manufacturing and hygiene practices.