Radiation Inactivation of Foodborne Pathogens on Frozen Seafood Products

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Abstract:

Foodborne illness due to consumption of contaminated seafood is, unfortunately, a regular occurrence in the United States. Ionizing (gamma) radiation can effectively inactivate microorganisms and extend the shelf life of seafood. In this study, the ability of gamma irradiation to inactivate foodborne pathogens surface inoculated onto frozen seafood (scallops, lobster meat, blue crab, swordfish, octopus, and squid) was investigated. The radiation D 10-values (the radiation dose needed to inactivate 1 log unit of a microorganism) for Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella inoculated onto seafood samples that were then frozen and irradiated in the frozen state (–20°C) were 0.43 to 0.66, 0.48 to 0.71, and 0.47 to 0.70 kGy, respectively. In contrast, the radiation D 10-value for the same pathogens suspended on frozen pork were 1.26, 0.98, and 1.18 kGy for L. monocytogenes, S. aureus, and Salmonella, respectively. The radiation dose needed to inactivate these foodborne pathogens on frozen seafood is significantly lower than that for frozen meat or frozen vegetables.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-10-419

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Food Safety Intervention Technologies Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA. christopher.sommers@ars.usda.gov 2: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Food Safety Intervention Technologies Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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