The Food and Drug Administration has amended the food additive regulations to provide for the safe use of ionizing radiation on meat and poultry products, according to final rules released in the Federal Register.

The first final rule provides for the use of a 4.5 kilogray (kGy) maximum absorbed dose of ionizing radiation to treat unrefrigerated and refrigerated uncooked meat, meat byproducts and certain meat food products to reduce levels of foodborne pathogens and extend shelf life. The second final rule amends the food additive regulations to increase the maximum dose of ionizing radiation permitted in the treatment of poultry products, to include specific language intended to clarify the poultry products covered by the regulations, and to remove the limitation that any packaging used during irradiation of poultry shall not exclude oxygen.


Both rules go into effect on November 30.