Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/11/2003
Publication Date: 1/1/2004
Citation: Sommers, C.H., Keser, N., Fan, X., Wallace, F.M., Novak, J.S., Handel, A.P., Niemira, B.A. 2004. Irradiation of ready-to-eat meats: eliminating listeria monocytogenes while maintaining product quality. Komolprasert V. and Morehouse, K. Washington, D.C. American Chemical Society. p. 77-89.
Technical Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes, a food-borne pathogen, is a common contaminant on ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products such as frankfurters, bologna, ham and deli turkey meat. A number of food-borne illness outbreaks have been attributed to this microorganism. Since 1998, over 90 million pounds of RTE meats have been recalled due to contamination with L. monocytogenes. Ionizing radiation can eliminate L. monocytogenes from RTE meat products. The radiation resistance of L. monocytogenes is dependent on the RTE meat formulation and the genetic characteristics of the contaminating strain. Ionizing radiation can also impact product quality factors including color, lipid oxidation, and generation of volatile sulfur compounds and hydrocarbons. As with elimination of microorganisms, effects of ionizing radiation on product quality are also product specific.