July 01, 2003


 Policy covers food irradiation

Posted June 13, 2003

The Executive Board approved revisions to an AVMA policy now renamed "Food Irradiation," as recommended by the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine. Previously, the title and text referred to "ionizing pasteurization," but "food irradiation" is appearing more frequently in the popular and industry press, and acceptance of this food safety technology is increasing. The revised policy is as follows:

Food Irradiation
The AVMA supports the use of irradiation for the pasteurization of meat and poultry to inactivate contaminating micro-organisms with the following qualifications:

  1. The animals have been slaughtered and processed under federal or state inspection which minimizes possible contamination, and irradiation is not used as a substitute for unsanitary operations;
  2. Irradiation is applied at approved levels and following proper safeguards; and
  3. The meat is protected from recontamination until consumed.