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Swamy Anantheswaran
Department of Food Science
Pennsylvania State University
Irradiation: Is it Consumer-Friendly?

“Leo Altamari,” CEO of Kutztown Meat Packing Corporation, has just come back from his Monday morning staff meeting, where the major agenda item was a discussion about the irradiation of meat products.  Leo must decide whether his company should pursue meat irradiation, weighing the expense of the technology and the wariness of many consumers, even though research has shown it to be an effective means of eliminating E. coli contamination in meat products.  Developed for an introductory food science course, the case introduces students to consumer perceptions and beliefs about food irradiation and teaches them how the food industry evaluates new processing technologies from a business perspective.