Food Irradiation

From Irradiation: A Safe Measure for Safer Food from the FDA:

As part of its approval, FDA requires that irradiated foods include labeling with either the statement “treated with radiation” or “treated by irradiation” and the international symbol for irradiation, the radura. Irradiation labeling requirements apply only to foods sold in stores. For example, irradiated spices or fresh strawberries should be labeled. When used as ingredients in other foods, however, the label of the other food does not need to describe these ingredients as irradiated. Irradiation labeling also does not apply to restaurant foods.

Though I shouldn’t just point out the scary negative side… It’s a good, pretty balanced article, written in 1998. In the article, the author says that virtually nobody uses irradiation except for spices, where “Many spices sold in this country also are irradiated”. It’s supposed to be safe. I don’t know, it still gives me the willies.

That cute pink symbol to the right is the “radura”, the symbol for irradiated food. No, I’ve never seen it before either.

Everyone knows what that other symbol is…

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