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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Food Irradiation Research and Technology

item Sommers, Christopher

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2009
Publication Date: 1/30/2009
Citation: Sommers, C. 2009. Food Irradiation Research and Technology [abstract]. The Ohio Association of Food and Environmental Sanitarians Winter Meeting. Columbus, Ohio. p.1

Interpretive Summary:

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 to be 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: 10/17/2017
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