|Why should I care about irradiated food?|
provides protection that is unavailable by any other means against foodborne
Good quality tropical fruits can be shipped to California and other states because irradiation destroys harmful fruit flies, such as the Mediterranean fruit fly, before they become an infestation problem.
Irradiation increases the shelf life of several fresh foods because it slows the ripening of fruit and prevents potatoes and onions from sprouting. Spices and herbs have been fumigated to increase safety. Irradiation can replace chemical fumigation, producing safe, high quality spices and herbs.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of irradiation to increase the saftey of fresh sprouts because it can destroy harmful bacteria that may be under the sprout seed coat. The FDA may also soon approve irradiation or prepared luncheon meats, and other ready-to-eat foods because the process can increase the safety of such prepackaged, perishable foods.