Why are Food Irradiated?
Q: What is food irradiation?

A: It is exposure to a carefully measured level of energy. If you expose food to a little energy – meaning an X-ray or a gamma ray – it will keep insects out of food products. If you treat it a little more, you can destroy food-borne bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. If you use even more, it will destroy any spoilage bacteria and make it shelf stable. It is worthwhile to note that health authorities such as the CDC have shown that hundreds of lives could be saved every year if only half the ground beef, poultry and processed meats were irradiated. This is a tool to help reduce food-borne illness.

Q: Is it safe to irradiate foods?

A: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluations have clearly shown there is no increased risk from irradiated foods in regards to nutrition, microbiology and chemical safety. We see people dying from food-borne illness, and we have a way to reduce these deaths through irradiation.

Q: Do grocery stores carry irradiated foods? How do you know if your food has been irradiated?

A: There are several grocery stores that do carry irradiated foods. All irradiated food is labeled with a symbol called the Radura.

Symbol: Irradiated Food

Related Content

Food Safety Gets Smarter

New technologies, policies, and partnerships are making the U.S. food supply safer.

IFT's GFTC Submits Comments to FDA Regarding Proposed Traceability Rule

IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) recently submitted comments to the U.S. FDA on behalf of the science of food community regarding the Food Traceability Proposed Rule. Here's the highlights.

Multilayer Packaging Continues to Make Its Mark

This column addresses the functions that layered food packaging provides: protection of its contents, improvement of brand operations, decrease of distribution damage, enabling of retail presentation, alignment with consumer use, and minimization of package materials, as well as how package layers are formed, and new developments.

How to Pick a Co-Packing Partner

The column addresses considerations in working with copackers: benefits, needs for, management of collaboration, etc.

9 Food Trends to Watch for in 2021

What food trends will define 2021? According to the editors of Food Technology magazine, we'll be seeing more mushrooms, fermented foods, and food as medicine in the year ahead.

Manual Feature

Latest News

Food Safety Gets Smarter

New technologies, policies, and partnerships are making the U.S. food supply safer.

IFT's GFTC Submits Comments to FDA Regarding Proposed Traceability Rule

IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) recently submitted comments to the U.S. FDA on behalf of the science of food community regarding the Food Traceability Proposed Rule. Here's the highlights.

Multilayer Packaging Continues to Make Its Mark

This column addresses the functions that layered food packaging provides: protection of its contents, improvement of brand operations, decrease of distribution damage, enabling of retail presentation, alignment with consumer use, and minimization of package materials, as well as how package layers are formed, and new developments.

How to Pick a Co-Packing Partner

The column addresses considerations in working with copackers: benefits, needs for, management of collaboration, etc.

9 Food Trends to Watch for in 2021

What food trends will define 2021? According to the editors of Food Technology magazine, we'll be seeing more mushrooms, fermented foods, and food as medicine in the year ahead.

More from IFT right arrow

Action game improves kids’ food choices; Five technologies driving food and agriculture

News about food science research, food companies, food regulations, and consumer/marketplace trends

Eradicating Hunger: We Each Play a Critical Role

IFT President Noel Anderson underscores the importance of the Zero Hunger goal.

Making a Splash With No- and Low-Alcohol Beverages

As health-conscious consumers seek refreshing, flavorful, and satisfying alternatives to traditional alcoholic beverages, no- and low-alcohol beers, spirits, and mocktails are gaining popularity, spurred by innovations in flavor, function, and variety.

Boosting cognition with wine and cheese; Global food traceability demand rises

News about food science research, food companies, food regulations, and consumer/marketplace trends

Artificial nose detects meat freshness; Does pretty food equal healthy food?

News about food science research, food companies, food regulations, and consumer/marketplace trends

IFTNEXT

Sucralose–carbohydrate combo may affect insulin sensitivity

A study found that people who drank beverages that contained the low-calorie sweetener sucralose did experience metabolic problems and issues with neural responses but only when the beverage was formulated with both sucralose and a tasteless sugar (maltodextrin).