Irradiation combined with a conventional cooking procedure was applied to meatball and the effects on bacterial load and inoculated Aeromonas hydrophila were determined. Meatball samples were irradiated by using a 60Co source at the dose levels of 0, 0.30, 0.75, 1.50, 2.50 kGy and cold stored at 4 +/- 1 degrees C for 7 days. Bacterial load and the count of A. hydrophila decreased when the irradiation dose level increased. A minimum inhibition effect was found at the dose of 0.30 kGy. Irradiation in combination with a conventional cooking procedure was found to be more effective in reducing A. hydrophila and the bacterial load in meatball. This study indicated that a dose of 0.75 kGy was sufficient to destroy approximately 10(4) cfu/g of A. hydrophila in meatball.