Giant Supermarkets To Sell Irradiated Ground Beef
Statement of CSPI Food Safety Director Caroline Smith DeWaal
November 1, 2002
Giant Foods' decision to offer irradiated ground beef follows a summer of major food-poisoning outbreaks and massive meat recalls. It is unfortunate that such exotic and expensive steps are needed to prevent such outbreaks.
Food irradiation is an end-of-the-line solution to a problem that should be cleaned up at its source. On-farm measures to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria would greatly enhance the safety of meat and eliminate the need for irradiation. We urge supermarkets, as well as the government and meat and poultry industries, to push their food-safety efforts back to the farm, rather than relying permanently on irradiation.
Finally, it's worth noting that the biggest health
concern about ground beef is neither the pathogens
nor the irradiation, but the saturated fat, which
promotes heart disease.