Food Irradiation

Ronald F. Eustice
Food Quality & Safety Consultant

Ronald F. Eustice is a food quality and safety consultant based in Tucson, Arizona. Eustice retired from the Minnesota Beef Council in October 2013 after more than 22 years of service to Minnesota’s beef industry. His previous experience includes decades of work on behalf of US agriculture and food production.


Eustice is widely known for his efforts to educate consumers and the food industry about the benefits of food irradiation.  He has spoken at food safety and phytosanitary conferences in more than 30 US states and a dozen countries. He has also authored chapters and articles concerning food irradiation in several books, magazines and newspapers.

In 1997, under Eustice’s leadership, the Minnesota Beef Council began a highly coordinated education effort to make beef one of the safest foods on the dinner table. Meat irradiation was a key element. The Minnesota Beef Council studied the irradiation process. Cooperation with companies such as Huiskens Meats, Schwan's, Omaha Steaks and Cargill who shared an interest in irradiation began. Together with the Minnesota Department of Health, the Beef Council conducted workshops, served hundreds of thousands of irradiated beef samples, sent letters to the editor, conducted media interviews and wrote press releases. Consumer interest and understanding of food irradiation grew in direct proportion to the amount of information available to them. It is likely that hundreds of lives been saved as a result of ground beef irradiation.

In recent years, world trade in fresh horticultural produce, durables and ornamentals continues to grow. Accompanying increased trade in agricultural products is the increased risk for inadvertently transporting quarantine pests to countries or regions where they do not currently exist. Quarantined pests, including insects such as fruit flies, beetles, moths, scales, mealybugs, thrips, and mites, can seriously disrupt marketing of fresh agricultural products not only between countries, but also between geographical areas within countries (e.g. Florida to California; Hawaii to mainland USA; Queensland to Victoria, Australia; Okinawa to Japan) unless accepted post-harvest quarantine treatments are available. Quarantine or phytosanitary treatments (such as fumigation, heat, cold or irradiation) disinfest host commodities of insect pests before they are moved through market channels to areas where the pests do not occur. Among the phytosanitary treatments, irradiation is generally recognized as the most versatile treatment with broad-spectrum activity against arthropod pests at dose levels that have minimal adverse effects on the quality of most commodities.
Ronald Eustice Curriculum Vitae

Contact Ronald F. Eustice

Media Interviews:
Food Irradiation: A Global Perspective
Global Perspective: Power Point Presentation
Food Irradiation Facts & Figures
Finding a niche for irradiation
A chat with Ron Eustice about food irradiation
Food Irradiation is already here.

Food Irradiation: Research & Technology
Radiation and Modern Life: Fulfilling Marie Curie's Dream
Capespan Fact Sheet





Pa'ina Hawaii
Gateway America
Crystal Seas Oysters





Food Irradiation Questions and Answers
Food Irradiation Update

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