Food Irradiation Essay

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Food Irradiation Food Irradiation is capable of improving the safety and quality of many foods. It is the process that emits high-energy rays passing through food products, virtually killing all harmful bacteria and parasites in or on the food. Yet, the food remains raw and undergoes only minor chemical changes. Foods are treated with ionizing radiation to accomplish many different goals, one being the delivery of raw meats and sprouts. There is no guarantee that raw ground beef or sprouts will be free of certain harmful bacteria. These foods provide a favorable environment for bacterial growth, whereas, the production process does not include a step to reduce these bacteria, such as cooking or pasteurization. For these foods, irradiation provides a bacteria-killing step. However, one association disagrees that the issue and claims that irradiation only covers up problems that the meat and poultry industry should solve, increasing the fecal contamination that results from speeded up slaughter and decreased federal inspection. Per Organic Consumers Association, Irradiation is a ‘magic bullet’ that will enable the company to say that the product was ‘clean’ when it left the packing plant. The claim, more rather, lacks the key source in evidence, for even the best sanitation and standard antibacterial treatments cannot ensure safety in foods. In addition, irradiation cannot occur properly if the food is too heavily contaminated, preventing industries from using this practice as a substitution for good sanitation practices. Irradiation is not harmful in producing resistant strains of bacteria, nor does it make food radioactive. It simply reduces the amounts of bacteria in foods that may become potential illnesses in humans. Accordingly, food irradiation advocates 40 years of research showing the process to be safe, however, evidence for

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