The FDA announced two final rules increasing the maximum allowable dosage of irradiation in meat and poultry products.
For meat products, the rule allows the use of a 4.5 kilogray (kGy) maximum absorbed dose of ionizing radiation to treat unrefrigerated and refrigerated uncooked meat to reduce levels of foodborne pathogens and extend shelf life.
In poultry, the rule clarifies the range of poultry products that may be irradiated, increases the maximum dose of ionizing radiation permitted in the treatment of covered poultry products to 4.5 kGy for fresh poultry and 7.0 kGy for frozen, and removes the requirement that the packaging for covered poultry products must not exclude oxygen.
The rules are in response to petitions from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Both rules take effect immediately, with hearing requests or objections due by 31 December 2012.
The full Federal Register notices are available here and here.