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  Food Irradiationslide
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Irradiation is physical treatment of food with high-energy ionising radiation to:

  • Destroy micro-organisms, viruses, bacteria or insects;
  • Prevent germination and sprouting of potatoes, onions and garlic;
  • Slow down ripening and ageing of fruit and vegetables;
  • Prolong the shelf life and prevent food-borne diseases in meat, poultry and seafood.

Its use is limited but authorised in many countries.

When is food irradiation authorised?

Treating food with ionising radiation may be authorised if:

  • there is reasonable technological need;
  • it poses no health hazard;
  • it benefits consumers;
  • it does not replace hygiene, health or good manufacturing or agricultural practice;

Irradiated food or one containing irradiated ingredients must be labelled.

Food irradiation has nothing to do with radioactive contamination of food resulting from a spill or an accident.

 
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