Radiation Processing for Human and Animal Food Products

Radiation technologies, such as gamma, electron beam, and X-ray are utilized to treat products meant for human or animal consumption. Irradiation does not compromise nutritional quality or cause a noticeable change in flavor, texture, aroma, or appearance of food.

The irradiation process serves many purposes in the treatment of food products, including:

  • Prevention of foodborne illness from organisms such as Salmonella or Escherichia (E. coli)
  • Preservation to inactivate organisms that cause food spoilage
  • Control of insects in or on food products that are imported
  • Delay of sprouting and ripening to increase longevity and shelf life
  • Sterilization and decontamination of food products for human and animal consumption

Radiation Processing of Food for Animal Consumption

Radiation technologies, such as gamma, electron beam, and X-ray can effectively treat animal feed, pet food, and pet treats, reducing the number of harmful bacteria and parasites.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Pet treats, such as chews
  • Birdseed for domesticated and wild birds
  • Lab animal feed
  • Compound feeds and foodstuffs – such as mixed grains, hay, straw, silage
  • Animal origin feed, such as pig ears

Radiation Processing of Food Packaging

Food and beverage packaging can be contaminated with molds, fungi, or other pathogenic microorganisms through a wide variety of sources such as raw materials (especially those of natural origin), water, containers, and other packaging materials. STERIS offers irradiation sterilization services to assist in controlling bioburden at various stages throughout the manufacturing process.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Carryout/take home containers
  • Juice boxes
  • Pouches
  • Bottle caps or lids
  • Cartons
  • Poly liners

Radiation Processing of Food for Human Consumption

Using low doses of radiation, STERIS can safely and effectively control pathogenic microorganisms, insects, or pests in food for human consumption. Some examples of food products processed include, but are not limited to:

  • Beef and pork
  • Crustaceans (e.g., lobster, shrimp, and crab)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Lettuce and spinach
  • Poultry
  • Seeds for sprouting (e.g., for alfalfa sprouts)
  • Shell eggs
  • Shellfish – molluscan (e.g., oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops)
  • Spices and seasonings

Processing of food for human consumption is available at select STERIS AST locations. Contact us to learn more information.

Quality and Regulatory

STERIS AST operates under a quality system that is in compliance with 21 CFR Part 820 and applicable sections of 21 CFR Part 211. In addition, STERIS is registered to the ISO 13485 Quality Standards and adheres to the requirements of ISO 11137 (Radiation) and ISO 11135 (EO).

Contact our team of experts to find out more about our Global Contract Sterilization, Testing and Validation Services.