Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 13, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Foodborne illness (FBI) outbreaks in the United States associated with contaminated fruits, vegetables, salads, and juices have prompted redoubled efforts to improve agricultural, post-harvest and supply-chain controls that reduce risk. However, the lack of a broadly applicable antimicrobial process (a “kill step”) suitable for use by the fresh produce industry is hampering food safety efforts. New tools to ensure the safety of fresh and fresh-cut produce are required; low-dose irradiation is one of the more promising of these tools. In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved irradiation as a safe and effective means of improving the safety and quality of Iceberg lettuce and spinach. This chapter will summarize the science related to food irradiation as it is applied to fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables for food safety purposes.