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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NON-THERMAL AND ADVANCED THERMAL FOOD PROCESSING INTERVENTION TECHNOLOGIES Title: Food irradiation research and technology

item Sommers, Christopher

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 29, 2008
Publication Date: August 5, 2008
Citation: Sommers, C. 2008. Irradiation Research and Technology. [abstract] International Association for Food Protection. p. 1.

Technical Abstract: Food Irradiation is a safe and effective U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved process that can be used to disinfest or delay the maturation of fruits and vegetables, improve the microbiological safety of shellfish, eggs, raw meat and poultry, spices, and seeds used for sprouting. FDA approved food irradiation technologies include gamma radiation from cobalt-60 and accelerator produced electrons and x-rays. The FDA and the World Health Organizations reviewed numerous short-term and long-term feeding studies in animals and in vitro studies prior to approving the use of ionizing radiation used as a food safety technology. Irradiation of ground beef, 1.5 kGy for refrigerated and 3.0 kGy for frozen product, results in a 6 log inactivation of E.coli O157:H7, and a 3 log reduction of Salmonella with little or no effect on ground beef quality. An ionizing radiation dose of 1 kGy can be used to disinfest and delay the maturation of fruits and vegetables, and would result in a 4 log reduction of E. coli O157:H7 and a 2 log reduction of Salmonella. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that increased use of irradiation could result in a significant decrease in the incidence of foodborne illness, hospitalizations, and mortality in the U.S. each year. In recent years, consumer attitudes towards food irradiation have improved as irradiated foods are becoming more common place in the U.S. market.

Last Modified: 11/26/2015
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