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05/07/2013

Electron beams to kill bacteria in oysters

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    Why not develop a way to make raw oysters a bit safer to eat by zapping them with electron-beams, which will kill more bacteria than conventional pasteurization.
    Raw oysters carry a particular risk, and can harbor viruses such as the norovirus, which has no treatment or vaccine. To destroy these bacteria and viruses, which often survive even after pasteurization by heating or pressure, it is now possible to subject the oysters to a beam of electrons. A dose of just under 5 kilograys will be enough to lower the risk of hepatitis A infection by 91 percent and norovirus by 26 percent.
    As an added bonus, the electron zapping method will use commercially available energy and no chemicals, which will make it safer for the environment.
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