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Food Irradiation Updates

  
Published by Ronald F. Eustice on behalf of the Food Irradiation Processing Alliance (FIPA) and the International Irradiation Association (iiA).
January  2013
As we close 2012 and enter the new year, it is a good time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year as well as challenges and opportunities facing us during the months ahead.
Despite significant progress in reducing harmful pathogens from our food supply, significant challenges remain. The XL recalls in Canada which shut down processing plants for weeks showed us that despite significant progress in reducing E. coli O157:H7 contamination from ground beef, challenges remain. Salmonella and non-O157:H7 E. coli will continue to haunt the meat and produce industries during the months ahead. The good news is that visionary companies such as Omaha Steaks, Schwan's and Wegmans use irradiation on ground beef as an additional level of food safety to protect public health. Let's hope that others follow their lead.
During 2013, we will see the volume of produce irradiated for phytosanitary purposes increase dramatically thanks to USDA Framework Equivalency agreements with nearly a dozen countries.

Ronald F. Eustice is a food quality & safety assurance consultant based in Minneapolis. He can be reached at: reustice@gmail.com 

IN THIS ISSUE
Irradiation gets FDA Boost
FDA expands ionizing radiation use but not enough
FDA increases irradiation in poultry products
Irradiation in the Production, Processing and Handling of Food
FDA Expands Irradiation Uses for Meat and Poultry
Report ftom the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on Food and Food Ingredients
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
QUICK LINKS
Irradiation gets FDA Boost;Meat & Poultry.com; By Bryan Salvage (December 5, 2012)  
Not all that long ago, food irradiation held great industry potential for being a safe and effective food-safety technology - for ground beef, in particular. But news on this technology has been lacking during the past decade. So, I was pleasantly surprised to read that the Food and Drug Administration released two final rules that increase the maximum allowable dosage of irradiation in meat and poultry.

Since irradiation is considered a food additive, which should be changed but would require an act of Congress to do so - it falls under the jurisdiction of the FDA, which regulates all additives. These latest rules are the result of responding to petitions from the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. What's more, it removes the limitation that any packaging used during irradiation of poultry shall not exclude oxygen. Read more here....
Federal Register Volume 77, Number 231 (Friday, November 30, 2012)

FDA expands ionizing radiation use but not enough; By Dr. Richard Raymond; Posted by Feedstuffs Foodlink (Dec. 3, 2012):

The Food & Drug Administration recently announced that as of Nov. 30, 2012, it was amending its food additive regulations to "provide for the safe use of a 4.5 kiloGray (kGy) maximum absorbed dose of ionizing radiation to treat unrefrigerated (as well as refrigerated) uncooked meat" and meat byproducts to reduce the levels of pathogens and extend shelf life of these products.
On the same day, FDA also announced that it was amending its food additive regulations to increase the maximum dose of ionizing radiation permitted in the treatment of poultry products. This change increases the approved maximum dose from the current 3.0 kiloGray to 4.5 kiloGray for non-frozen products and 7.0 kiloGray for frozen products.
The poultry rule also removes the current limitation that any packaging used during irradiation of poultry shall not exclude oxygen. This change allows the use of packaging that includes modified atmosphere packaging and vacuum packaging.
The two final rules still define that radiation used to treat food is a food additive because, while not technically an additive itself, it can affect the characteristics of the treated food. So the treated food will still have the radura symbol on the packaging, a symbol that very closely resembles the symbol used for bioterrorism. Read more here... 

FDA increases irradiation in poultry products; World Poultry (December 3, 2012):

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced two final rules increasing the maximum allowable dosage of irradiation in poultry and meat products.The rule allows in poultry, the rule clarifies the range of poultry products that may be irradiated, increases the maximum dose of ionising radiation permitted in the treatment of covered poultry products to 4.5 kGy for fresh poultry and 7.0 kGy for frozen, and removes the requirement that the packaging for covered poultry products must not exclude oxygen.
For meat products the use of a 4.5 kilogray (kGy) maximum absorbed dose of ionising radiation to treat unrefrigerated and refrigerated uncooked meat to reduce levels of foodborne pathogens and extend shelf life.
The rules are in response to petitions from USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Both rules take effect immediately, with  hearing requests or objections due by December 31, 2012.
The full Federal Register notices are available here: Meat products;  Poultry products .
Irradiation in the Production, Processing and Handling of Food; Federal Register; Food and Drug Administration Nov. 30, 2012): 
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending the food additive regulations to increase the maximum dose of ionizing radiation permitted in the treatment of poultry products, to include specific language intended to clarify the poultry products covered by the regulations, and to remove the limitation that any packaging used during irradiation of poultry shall not exclude oxygen. This action is in response to a petition filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS).
Based on the data and studies submitted in the petition and other information in the Agency's files, FDA concludes that the proposed use of irradiation to treat fresh (refrigerated and unrefrigerated) poultry food products [3] with absorbed doses that will not exceed 4.5 kGy and frozen poultry products not to exceed 7.0 kGy is safe with no need for a requirement that the packaging shall not exclude oxygen, and therefore, § 179.26 should be amended as set forth in this document. Read more here...

FDA Expands Irradiation Uses for Meat and Poultry; Food Safety News; (December 3, 2012).

Meat and poultry producers who use ionized radiation to kill pathogens in product now have expanded options, thanks to two rules published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Friday.

The first rule allows for the irradiation of unrefrigerated raw meat. Previously, only refrigerated or frozen meats could be irradiated, but FDA says research on the meat treated at higher temperatures shows that this application poses no health risk.

The second rule ups the dose of absorbed ionizing radiation in poultry from 3.0 kilogray (kGy) to 4.5 kGy. While this higher dose is already allowed in meat and molluscan shellfish, the limit had remained at 3.0 kGy for poultry until now.

The two rules were issued in response to two petitions filed in 1999 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

FDA says that since that time, it has received many comments from consumer advocacy groups - including Public Citizen and the Center for Food Safety - requesting the denial of both petitions, as well as the denial of another rule permitting irradiation of molluscan shellfish.

However, these comments "were of a general nature" and "did not contain any substantive information that could be used in a safety evaluation of irradiated poultry," said the FDA in its new poultry irradiation rule. The agency reached the same conclusion for the comments urging denial of the new meat temperature rule. The two final rules went into effect November 30, 2012 - the day they were published. Read more... 

Report ftom the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on Food and Food Ingredients Treated with Ionising Radiation for the Year 2011; (October 26, 2012)
The European Union has issued the following document which can be viewed at the indicated link: REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL ON FOOD AND FOOD INGREDIENTS TREATED WITH IONISING RADIATION FOR THE YEAR 2011. Read more here...
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
USA

For more information on food irradiation visit http://www.fipa.us
Remember: Food irradiation is a cold pasteurization process that will do for ground meats, produce, and other foods what thermal pasteurization did for milk decades ago.
Sincerely,
Ronald F.  Eustice
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Radura
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
This email was sent to reustice@gmail.com by reustice@gmail.com |  
Ronald F. Eustice | 13768 Trost Trail | Savage, | MN | 55378


 
 

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