Manufacturing News

Final rule on meat irradiation

March 28, 2003
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USDA published its final rule on the decision in December.

Following its approval of irradiation to reduce or eliminate pathogens in raw meat products (see Food Engineering, January), the USDA published its final rule on the decision in December. The rule was scheduled to take effect Feb. 22.


  • Meat food products may be treated with ionizing irradiation for purposes of reducing pathogens and extending shelf life at dosages up to 4.5 kiloGrays (kGy) if the product is refrigerated and 7kGy if it is frozen.
  • Establishments may irradiate meat food and poultry products only in accordance with a HACCP system.
  • Establishments must have a dosimetry system in place to measure the absorbed dose of radiation.
  • Establishments must have documents on file that relate to compliance with the requirements of federal agencies with jurisdiction over irradiation (NRC, OSHA)
  • Products must be labeled with the international "radura" logo. Further, the product name must include the word "irradiated" or the labeling must bear a disclosure statement.
  • Inclusion of irradiated meat in a multiingredient product must be reflected in the ingredient statement on the finished product labeling.
Maybe it's the mountain air, but Colorado food shoppers are outspending -- and perhaps outeating -- Washington, D.C., shoppers by a ratio of 3 to1, according to a new study by the Food Institute.

Based on new data from the Census Bureau, the study indicates that Colorado food stores rang up an average $8.9 million each in 1997, more than any other state and well above the national average of $5.1 million.

Nevada was a close second with an average $8.6 million per unit When ranked by total sales, California food stores accounted for the largest share in '97 -- $43.6 billion, or 12.4 percent of the $351.4 billion earned by the nation's 69,641 food stores.

These stores made up the bulk of U.S. food and beverage sales, which totaled $401.8 billion in 1997. (Convenience stores, specialty food stores and liquor stores make up the remainder.)

Based on current population projections, the Food Institute estimates that total food and beverage sales will reach $466 billion by 2015 -- about 16 percent more than in 1997. A new series of Food Institute publications summarizes this data and offers projections by region and state through 2015.

Entitled The State of the Retail Food Store and Food Service Industries, the series is available for nine U.S. regions.

For more information call the Food Institute at (201) 791-5570 or visit

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