The influence of low (0·39-1·1%), medium (4·25%) and high (7·1-32·5%) fat levels in fish on radiation inactivation of four food-borne pathogens was investigated. Cells of Listeria monocytogenes 036, Yersinia enterocolitica F5692,Bacillus cereus and Salmonella typhimurium at logarithmic phase were inoculated in 10% fish homogenates and subjected to gamma irradiation at ice temperature (0-1 °C) with doses ranging from 0·05 to 0·8 kGy. The radiation survival curves of L. monocytogenes and B. cereus were characterized by shoulders, while a tailing effect was depicted by cells of Y. enterocolitica and B. cereus. The D10 values in kGy calculated on the exponential part of the curve ranged from 0·2 to 0·3, 0·15 to 0·25, 0·1 to 0·15 and 0·09 to 0·1 for L. monocytogenes 036, B. cereus, Salm. typhimurium and Y. enterocolitica F5692, respectively. This order (D10) of radiation resistance of each organism was not affected by the fat content of the fish. Inoculated pack studies carried out separately with each pathogen in fatty (Indian sardine, 7·1%) and lean(Golden anchovy, 0·39%) fish showed no difference in their survival after exposure to 1 kGy and 3 kGy doses, which corroborated the above observation. The practical significance of these results in the application of the technology is discussed.