EFFECT OF GAMMA IRRADIATION ON MICROBIAL LOAD OF SHEEP MEAT
Sheep (Ovis aries) is well-thought-out to be a significant source of nutrition around the world. Pathogenic microorganisms have caused numerous outbreaks of food-borne illnesses in many countries in the past, in spite of the mighty efforts their government employed to avoid contamination. Appropriate hygienic practices can lower the level of contamination. This study was conducted to monitor reduction in microbial contents especially the pathogens of sheep meat after Gamma irradiation. The sheep meat control sample used in this study contained coliform (2.4×106±1.26 cfu/g), Staphylococcus (8.04×106±0.489 cfu/g) and hemolytic bacteria (0.7×105±0.89 cfu/g). A Gamma radiation dose of 1kGy was adequate to eliminate coliform while a dose of 1.5 kGy was required to get rid of Staphylococcus and Hemolytic bacteria. Further control sample harbored acid tolerant bacteria that could survive in pH 2 (0.1×104±0.089 cfu/g) and pH3 (0.6×104±0.7 cfu/g) and were eliminated at 0.5 and 1.5kGy dose respectively. The sample contained ampicillin resistant bacteria (6.7×105±0.9 cfu/g) that were eliminated at a dose of 1.5kGy. In conclusion a radiation dose of 1.5 kGy was found optimal to eliminate harmful bacteria from sheep meat.