Irradiation As Food Safety Measure

There will be a 75-day consultation over a proposal to allow the irradiation of fresh and frozen ground beef as a food safety measure.

Health Canada is leading the consultation.

Irradiation is used to prevent the spread of bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella and others but the measure has run into negative public reaction.

Irradiation is already used in Canada to treat potatoes, onions, wheat, flour, whole or ground spices and dehydrated seasoning preparations. And all products that undergo the process have to be labelled properly.

Health Canada says it has done a thorough safety review and says irradiated beef is safe to eat and maintains its food value, taste, texture and appearance. But the organization stresses  irradiation is an optional tool is will not replace existing food safety processing standards and practices.

That includes handling, sanitation and storage.