Listeria spp. are a frequent postprocess contaminant of ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products, including ham. Vacuum-steam-vacuum (VSV) technology has been used successfully to eliminate Listeria innocua from hot dogs. Ionizing radiation can eliminate Listeria spp. from RTE meats. However, the excessive application of either technology can cause changes in product quality, including structural changes, changes in cure color (redness), and lipid oxidation. In this study, two cycles of VSV were combined with 2.0 kGy of ionizing radiation to obtain 4.40- and 4.85-log10 reductions of L. innocua on ham meat and skin, respectively. The use of both treatments resulted in an additive, as opposed to synergistic, reduction of L. innocua on ham. The combination treatment did not cause statistically significant changes in product structure, color (redness), or lipid oxidation.

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