USDA okays irradiated fruit and veg

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Irradiation, Fruit, Bacteria, Usda

The US Agriculture Department said on Monday it would begin
allowing imports of fruits and vegetables treated by irradiation, a
technology used to kill bacteria and lengthen shelf life.

The US Agriculture Department said on Monday it would begin allowing imports of fruits and vegetables treated by irradiation, a technology used to kill bacteria and lengthen shelf life.

Irradiation, which has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation, exposes food to low doses of electrons or gamma rays to destroy deadly organisms such as E. coli O157:H7 and salmonella. It has been approved by US regulators for use with raw chicken and beef as well as spices and dried seasonings.

Some green groups and environmentalists fear using high-energy radiation in food products could have harmful side effects for consumers.

With USDA's new rule, importers have one more alternative to protect produce from fruit flies and the mango seed weevil. Other choices include fumigation and cold treatment.

"The irradiation alternative allows importers to sell riper, more valuable fruit, with less damage,"​ the USDA said.

Irradiation would most likely boost imports of exotic fruits and vegetables, such as papaya, that need to be treated for fruit flies, it added.

Anna Cherry, spokeswoman for USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the irradiation rule would become effective on Wednesday when it is published in the Federal Register.

News of USDA's actions helped boost shares of SureBeam, a provider of electronic beam food safety systems. Its price on Monday closed up 34 cents to $3.85 (€4) per share at the New York Stock Exchange.

"This new USDA rule will allow us to expand our patented SureBeam technology into the major agricultural markets around the world,"​ said Larry Oberkfell, president of the San Diego, California-based company.

Related topics: Food safety and labeling

Related products

show more

Maximize supply chain visibility with Muddy Boots

Maximize supply chain visibility with Muddy Boots

TELUS Agriculture | 15-Dec-2020 | Product Brochure

Muddy Boots’ Greenlight Supplier Management helps food manufacturers, processors and retailers boost product quality, reduce waste and delight customers.

Ebook: Inventory Management Impacts Supply Chain

Ebook: Inventory Management Impacts Supply Chain

Oracle NetSuite | 10-Dec-2020 | Technical / White Paper

This ebook examines the role of inventory management in each step of the supply chain and shares best practices for how businesses can use inventory management...

Big surprises in Ipsos survey of 6000 flexitarians

Big surprises in Ipsos survey of 6000 flexitarians

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences | 30-Nov-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Flexitarians in 9 countries give a meal-by-meal account of their preferences. Discover what it takes to make plant-based part of every meal in our groundbreaking...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars