June 20, 2024

One-Third of Food Outbreaks Linked to Non-Irradiated Food

One-third of food outbreaks are linked to non-irradiated foods, according to a report in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases report for June 2024. Those foods are eligible for irradiation treatment, which kills pathogens and extends the life of produce and other foods. Of 482 outbreaks, 155 were linked to an irradiation-eligible food; none of those foods were irradiated. Irradiation is  controversial, with some significant consumer resistance and large fixed costs. The FDA has approved certain foods for this type of treatment, including poultry, fresh shell eggs, spices, and meat. The FDA says that food irradiation is safe, and can control pathogens and insects. It can reduce the use of pesticides on foods, and can preserve food for … [Read more...]

FDA’s Plan to Allow Ionizing Radiation in Crustaceans Criticized

The FDA is amending food additive regulations to allow the "safe use of ionizing radiation on crustaceans" to control foodborne pathogens and extend shelf life. The petition to allow this method of controlling pathogens was submitted by the National Fisheries Institute. The government agency says the decision is based on potential toxicity, the effect of irradiation on nutrients and potential microbiological risk that may result from treating the fish. Crustaceans include crab, shrimp, lobster, crayfish, and prawns. Ionizing radiation is used to treat cancer patients and in X-rays and CT scans. At the maximum dose of 6.0 kiloGray, the treatment will "reduce, but not entirely eliminate" the number of pathogenic microorganisms on crustaceans. The update does state that "irradiation is … [Read more...]

Shellfish Irradiation To Reduce Food Poisoning Gets FDA Nod

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of ionizing radiation to kill foodborne pathogens on crustacean shellfish and extend their shelf life. The April 11 decision is in response to a food additive petition submitted by the National Fisheries Institute 13 years ago. The decision will allow processors of crustaceans including crab, shrimp, lobster, crayfish, and prawns use small amounts of ionizing radiation to reduce, but not eliminate, dangerous foodborne bacteria such as E.coli, Vibrio and Listeria.  The maximum permitted dose is 6.0 kiloGray. The rule covers shellfish sold raw, frozen, shelled, dried, cooked and partially cooked. It also covers crustaceans processed with spices or a small number of other ingredients. Irradiation has been approved for use on … [Read more...]

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Reviving Beef Irradiation Request

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) is planning to submit a plan to the Canadian government to irradiate beef in the wake of last year's huge XL Beef recall and E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. The group submitted the request back in 1998, but the plan was not completed. The CCA announced the news on Earth Day, April 22, 2013 after the Consumers Association of Canada stated that the benefits of irradiation are beginning to be accepted and recognized. Irradiation has been studied at the University of Minnesota Food Policy Research Center. The CDC and WHO recognize the potential of food irradiation to prevent infectious diseases that are transmitted by meat, poultry, and fresh product. The process has been approved by the FDA to kill harmful and spoilage bacteria and pests on fruits, … [Read more...]

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