Using irradiation to remove harmful fungi, bacteria and molds from food is a very essential part of providing dried and processed foods that are safe for human consumption, food preparation and use.
Many people fail to understand the safety and the scope of the use of food irradiation facilities to provide this level of safety in foods, particularly those that may be stored for months or longer before sale. Some consumers also don’t understand that if irradiation is not used, some other form of treatment may be used and the common fumigation method may leave an invisible residue.
Control of Facilities
The operation of food irradiation facilities is very carefully controlled on an international level. This includes the use of the Cobalt60, which is the material used in these facilities. Each aspect of the use of the cobalt, including how it is packed for transport and how it is recycled is carefully monitored and controlled.
Additionally, most of the companies with food irradiation facilities are companies that specialize in a variety of different methods of large scale sterilization of everything from food to medical devices. They follow all ISO regulations as well as regulations with the country or countries where they operate.
While not related to the facilities themselves, there is a lot of misinformation about irradiation in the general public. This is not a new process and leading international organizations on health and food safety endorse the process of food irradiation following the accepted regulations and protocols.
While irradiation is not the right option for all foods, it is very effective in making many dried foods such as spices and tea safe for human consumption. By ridding the foods of serious pathogens including E. coli and Salmonella, everyone is healthier and has the confidence in trusting the food they purchase is safe.