Full Title – Control of Listeria monocytogenes and spoilage bacteria on smoked salmon during storage at 5 °C after X-ray irradiation

In this study, smoked salmon fillets were artificially inoculated with Listeriamonocytogenes (3.7 ± 0.2 log CFU g−1) and treated with X-ray irradiation generated by a RS 2400 X-ray machine (Rad Source Technologies Inc.) using doses of 0.0, 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 kGy. Unirradiated and irradiated samples were then stored at 5 °C for 35 days and tested for L. monocytogenes count after 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 days. Also, uninoculated-untreated and uninoculated-treated samples with the lowest and highest X-ray doses (0.1 and 2.0 kGy) were stored at 5 °C and examined for psychrotrophs and mesophiles counts after 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 days. The initial L. monocytogenes population (3.7 log CFU g−1 ) was significantly (p < 0.05) reduced to an undetectable level (<1.0 log CFU g−1) by treatment with 1.0 kGy X-ray. Treatment with 0.1 kGy X-ray significantly reduced the initial psychrotrophs and mesophiles counts from 5.3 and 3.0 to 3.3 and 2.3, respectively. However, L. monocytogenes, psychrotrophs and mesophiles counts were gradually increased during storage. Treatment with 2.0 kGy X-ray kept the L. monocytogenes population under detectable level until 35 days. Treatment with 2.0 kGy X-ray kept the mesophiles and psychrotrophs counts within the acceptable level until 35 days. These results revealed that treatment with X-ray irradiation can significantly reduce the risk of listeriosis and extend the shelf life of smoked salmon during storage at 5 °C.