Standard Active Last Updated: Feb 02, 2022
ASTM F1356-22

Standard Guide for Irradiation of Fresh, Frozen or Processed Meat and Poultry to Control Pathogens and Other Microorganisms

Significance and Use

4.1 The principal purpose of irradiation is to help ensure the safety of these foods for human consumption. Irradiation significantly reduces the numbers of pathogenic bacteria such as Campylobacter, Shiga toxin-Producing E coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Yersinia enterocolitica.

Note 3: Ionizing radiation doses below 10 kGy will reduce but may not eliminate spores of pathogenic bacteria including those of Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium perfringens, and Bacillus cereus.

4.2 The process also inactivates parasites such as Trichinella spiralis and Toxoplasma gondii.

4.3 The process may extend the shelf life of fresh meat and poultry by reducing the numbers of viable, spoilage bacteria, such as Pseudomonas species and lactic acid bacilli.

4.4 Radiation processing of fresh, frozen, or processed meat and poultry is a critical control point (CCP) of a Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) program. It serves as an important measure to control any residual risk from pathogenic microorganisms before the product reaches the consumer (4).

4.5 The “Recommended International Code of Practice for Radiation Processing of Food” (CAC/RCP 19-1979) of the Codex Alimentarius identifies the essential practices to be implemented to achieve effective radiation processing of food, in general, in a manner that maintains quality and yields food products that are safe and suitable for consumption.


1.1 This guide outlines procedures for the irradiation of fresh, frozen, or processed meat and poultry.

Note 1: The Codex Alimentarius Commission defines meat as “the edible part of any mammal” and poultry as “any domesticated bird, including chicken, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea-fowls, or pigeons” (CAC/MISC 5).

Note 2: Current U.S. regulations limit the definition of meat and poultry as listed in 9 CFR Section 301.2 and 381.1, respectively. (2, 3).

1.2 This guide covers the use of ionizing radiation to eliminate or reduce the numbers of vegetative, pathogenic microorganisms and parasites, and to extend the refrigerated shelf-life of those products by reducing the numbers of spoilage microorganisms in fresh, frozen, or processed meat and poultry. The absorbed dose for this application is typically less than 10 kGy.

1.2.1 This guide covers gamma, electron beam, and X-radiation treatment.

1.3 This guide addresses irradiation of pre-packaged product for retail sale or for use as an ingredient in other products. It also addresses the in-line irradiation of unpackaged product. Other specific ISO and ASTM standards exist for the irradiation of food. In those areas covered by ISO 14470, that standard takes precedence.

1.4 This document is one of a set of standards that provides recommendations for properly implementing and utilizing radiation processing. It is intended to be read in conjunction with ISO/ASTM 52628.

1.5 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Book of Standards Volume: 12.02
Developed by Subcommittee: E61.05
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.1520/F1356-22
ICS Code: 07.100.30; 67.120.01