Food Science and Technology Department


Department of Food Science and Technology: Faculty Publications

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Published in Journal of Food Safety 5:4 (1983), pp. 203–211. Copyright © 1983 Food & Nutrition Press, Inc., Westport, Connecticut; published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Used by permission.
Published as Paper No. 6960 Journal Series, Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station.


The nature of the flora surviving substerilizing irradiation of foods is dependent on the dose applied and the conditions of applications as well as the microenvi¬ronment of the food. At a dose level low enough to preserve acceptable sensory properties of fresh food, few if any of the common contaminants of public health significance survive irradiation. Survivors are weakened and present no unique problem of acquired resistance through recycling. Those bacteria surviving a low dose treatment of a relatively contaminated product like ground beef can grow under normal storage conditions and cause obvious sensory spoilage. Thus, low dose irradiation extends the shelf-life of fresh foods and reduces public health hazards, but foods so treated require normal care in production and distribution.

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