Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service:

Irradiation of Meat Food Products

OGC-00-16: Published: Jan 12, 2000. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 2000.


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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Food Safety and Inspection Service's (FSIS) new rule on the irradiation of meat and meat food products. GAO noted that: (1) the final rule amends the FSIS rules to permit the use of ionizing radiation for treating refrigerated or frozen uncooked meat, meat byproducts, and certain other meat food products to reduce levels of foodborne pathogens and to extend shelf-life; (2) the rule revises existing regulations governing the irradiation of poultry products so that they will be as consistent as possible with the regulations for the irradiation of meat food products; and (3) FSIS complied with applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.

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