Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 May 2009
The use of a gamma radiation process for the elimination of Salmonella from frozen meat is considered with particular reference to the treatment of boned-out horsemeat and kangaroo meat imported into the UK and intended for use as pet meat.
Examination of dose/survival curves produced for several serotypes of Salmonella in frozen meat shows that a radiation dose of 0·6 Mrad. will reduce a population by at least a factor of 105. The influence on the radiation resistance of salmonellas of such factors as preirradiation growth in the meat and temperature during irradiation have been examined and considered. It is also demonstrated with both preinoculated and naturally contaminated meat that postirradiation storage in the frozen state does not lead to the revival of irradiated salmonellas.
The properties of Salmonella survivors deliberately produced in meat using conditions of irradiation designed to simulate a commercial process are studied after six recycling treatments through the process. There were no important changes in characteristics normally used for identification of Salmonella but radiation resistance was lowered. Survivors grown in situ in meat after irradiation showed an abnormally long lag phase, and removal of competitive microflora in meat by the radiation treatment can influence the growth of salmonellas.