The effectiveness of pulsed UV-light on the microbial load and quality of unpackaged and vacuum-packaged chicken frankfurters was investigated. Samples were inoculated with Listeria monocytogenes Scott A on the top surfaces, and then treated with pulsed UV-light for 5, 15, 30, 45, and 60 s at 5, 8, and 13 cm distance from the quartz window in a pulsed UV-light chamber. Log reductions (CFU/cm(2)) on unpackaged samples were between 0.3 and 1.9 after 5-s treatment at 13 cm and 60-s treatment at 5 cm, respectively. Log reductions on packaged samples ranged from 0.1 to 1.9 after 5-s treatment at 13 cm and 60-s treatment at 5 cm, respectively. The temperature changes of samples and total energy (J/cm(2)) received at each treatment condition were monitored. The extent of lipid peroxidation and the color were determined by thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) test and CIELAB color method, respectively. Lipid peroxidation of samples did not change significantly (P > 0.05) after mild (5-s treatment at 13 cm) and moderate (30-s treatment at 8 cm) treatments. Significant differences (P < 0.05) in color parameters were observed after treatments of both unpackaged and packaged samples. Packaging material was also analyzed for mechanical properties. The elastic modulus, yield strength, percent elongation at yield point, maximum tensile strength, and percent elongation at break did not change significantly (P > 0.05) after mild treatment. Overall, this study demonstrated that pulsed UV-light has a potential to decontaminate ready-to-eat (RTE) poultry-based food products.