Food Irradiation Updates

Published by Ronald F. Eustice on behalf of the Food Irradiation Processing Alliance (FIPA) and the International Irradiation Association (iiA).
August  2013
Food Irradiation Update is published monthly by Ronald F. Eustice, a food quality & safety assurance consultant based in Minneapolis and Tucson. He can be reached at: and at 612.202.1016.
The articles included in this Food Irradiation Update clearly point out that the safety of our food supply continues to be a significant issue. Whether it is Vibrio in oysters, E. coli in meat or Salmonella in poultry, it is clearly evident that the challenges remain. Food irradiation is a practical solution to a continuing problem. It's time to "take the bull by the horns" and use this proven, environmentally-friendly and safe technology to make our food supply more secure.
Wegmans recalls oysters for potential Vibrio contamination
F.D.A. committed to developing a final rule on produce safety that "prevents" illnesses
Beef Recall: 50,000 Pounds Of Meat Recalled Due To Possible E.Coli Contamination
Australia, NZ approve import of irradiated mangoes from India
USDA authorization of importation of fresh pitayas and pomegranates
USDA Takes Steps to Ensure Safety of Imported Food

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is recalling its Cape Neddick/Blue Point Oysters for potential Vibrio parahaemolyticus contamination.

The recalled oysters were sold at various New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut Wegmans stores. They were labeled with the following UPC codes: 2-06146-00000, 2-06152-00000, 2-06153-00000.

The recalled oysters were sold in Wegmans seafood departments between July 13, 2013 and August 5, 2013. They may also have been sold in Wegmans restaurants, Food Bars and Pubs during that timeframe. Read more here...

Norwalk's Shellfish Recall Shows Signs Of Larger Issue; Norwalk Voice (August 10, 2013):

Boat image 2 NORWALK, Conn. - The recent recall of some Connecticut-harvested shellfish and the closing of shellfishing areas in Norwalk, Westport and Darien may be part of a growing problem with a particular form of bacteria  affecting more areas each year, experts said.

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture issued a recall for oysters, clams, and mussels harvested from certain locations in Norwalk and Westport, dating back to the beginning of July. The recall stemmed from reports of infections from vibrio parahaemolyticus, a species of bacteria that affects shellfish.  Read more here...

F.D.A. committed to developing a final rule on produce safety that "prevents" illnesses (July 30, 2013):
Produce Michael R. Taylor, the Food and Drug Administration's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, in a July 15 interview said he wanted produce growers to know the F.D.A. was committed to developing, with their input, a final rule on produce safety that "prevents illnesses but that is also practical and adaptable to a wide diversity of growing conditions and practices." Read more here...
Beef Recall: 50,000 Pounds Of Meat Recalled Due To Possible E.Coli Contamination; Huffington Post (July 31, 2013):

Washington, DC: Time to check out the label on your ground beef. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a Kansas company has recalled approximately 50,000 pounds of meat due to a possible E. coli contamination.

The beef, which was sold by the National Beef Packing Company, was sent to retailers, wholesalers and food services distributors across the country. Read more here... 

Australia, New Zealand approve import of irradiated mangoes from India; Fresh Plaza (August 7, 2013):  
Mango After the United States, Australia and New Zealand can import Indian mangoes that have undergone a process known as irradiation.
While the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand has approved import of irradiated mangoes, the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has also approved import of irradiated pomegranates from India.

"Irradiation is used as a quarantine treatment replacing chemical fumigants which is a pre requisite in these countries. Fumigants are banned in these countries since they react with the ozone layer," said AK Sharma, head, food technology division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, which has developed the irradiation technology. Read more here... 
USDA authorization of importation of fresh pitayas and pomegranates; USDA Press Release (August 13, 2013)

SUMMARY: We are advising the public of our decision to authorize the importation into the continental United States of fresh pitayas and pomegranates from Mexico. Based on the findings of pest risk analyses, which we made available to the public for review and comment through a previous notice, we believe that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh pitayas and pomegranates from Mexico. Read more here...


USDA Takes Steps to Ensure Safety of Imported Food; FDA Press Announcement; By Shelly Burgess (July 26, 2013):

In order to implement the bipartisan Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed by President Obama, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued two proposed rules aimed at helping to ensure that imported food meets the same safety standards as food produced in the United States.

These proposals are part of the FSMA approach to modernizing the food safety system for the 21st century. FSMA focuses on preventing food safety problems, rather than relying primarily on responding to problems after the fact. The FDA encourages Americans to review and comment on these important proposed rules.
Under the proposed rules, importers would be accountable for verifying that their foreign suppliers are implementing modern, prevention-oriented food safety practices, and achieving the same level of food safety as domestic growers and processors. The FDA is also proposing rules to strengthen the quality, objectivity, and transparency of foreign food safety audits on which many food companies and importers currently rely to help manage the safety of their global food supply chains.
The new measures respond to the challenges of food safety in today's global food system. Imported food comes into the United States from about 150 different countries and accounts for about 15 percent of the U.S. food supply, including about 50 percent of the fresh fruits and 20 percent of the fresh vegetables consumed by Americans. Read more here...
FOOD IRRADIATION: A GUIDE FOR CONSUMERS, POLICYMAKERS AND THE MEDIA published by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) can be downloaded at Food Irradiation Book
IRRADIATED FOODS; published by the American Council on Science & Health Provides Science- provides science-based Information on food irradiation. The booklet can be downloaded at:IRRADIATED FOODS
Food Irradiation Principles and Applications
is an excellent source of information about food irradiation. For information go to:
Food Irradiation: Principles & Applications
FOOD IRRADIATION: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS is an excellent source of information on food irradiation.FOOD IRRADIATION: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Food Irradiation Update is being sent to you by Ronald F. Eustice on behalf of the Food Irradiation Processing Alliance (FIPA) and the International Irradiation Association (iiA).
Ronald F. Eustice
Minneapolis, MN

For more information on food irradiation visit
Remember: Food irradiation is a cold pasteurization process that will do for meats, produce, and other foods what thermal pasteurization did for milk decades ago.
Ronald F.  Eustice




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