Irradiated Foods


Radiation is used to kill harmful organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, in food. Only a tiny dose of radiation is needed to kill these disease-causing agents. The food never becomes radioactive. That means that the radiation does not remain in the food. No scientific evidence shows that eating irradiated food increases the risk of breast cancer.

Many health experts agree that irradiation is an effective way to reduce food-borne diseases and make sure the food we eat doesn't have harmful organisms in it. Irradiation isn't a substitute for good food-handling practices, but it can kill harmful bacteria, especially in meat and poultry.

Radiation does not cook or toughen the food, change its temperature, or decrease its nutritional content. It doesn't appear to cause significant chemical changes in food. The tiny radiation dose used has no real effect on the quality of the food itself and is believed to be safe. Food irradiation is allowed in almost 40 countries and is endorsed by the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, and other health associations. United States government regulations require that irradiated foods be labeled so consumers can distinguish them from non-irradiated foods.

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