Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2002
Publication Date: July 1, 2003
Citation: SOMMERS, C.H. IRRADIATION OF MINIMALLY PROCESSED MEATS. CRC PRESS. BOOK CHAPTER. 2003. CHAPTER 14. P. 301-318. Technical Abstract: There are an estimated 76,000,000 cases of food-borne illness and 5,000 related deaths in the United States annually. Consumers are demanding that food products, including minimally processed meats, be free of illness- causing pathogens. Low dose ionizing radiation has been shown to be a safe and effective method for eliminating bacterial pathogens including Escherichia coli O157, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., Yersinia enterocolitica and Listeria monocytogenes from minimally processed meats. Recent events and consumer education, have resulted in increased awareness of the potential utility of ionizing radiation as a safe and effective method to protect consumers and their families from food-borne illness. This chapter reviews the irradiation process, the microbiology of minimally processed meats, the pathogens of concern including bacteria, viruses, and parasites, the consequences of irradiation to the background microflora, and factors which affect the radiation resistance of microorganisms.