Canadian food authority Health Canada has announced proposed changes that will give the green light to irradiation for certain food products.


Under the proposed amendments to the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations, irradiation would be cleared for ground beef, poultry, shrimp, prawns and mangoes.


During food irradiation, radiation energy is passed through food, killing more than 99% of bacteria. This considerably increases the shelf life of food products.


Irradiation is already permitted in Canada for wheat, flour, potatoes, onions and seasonings. Health Canada has been consulting with the industry and scientists for some time, with the proposed amendments now giving the provisional go-ahead for these new food categories, reported The Globe and Mail.


“Our in-depth review […] concludes that this does not pose any danger to consumers,” Health Canada spokesman Paul Mayer said at a press conference in Ottawa yesterday. “It does not diminish the nutritional value of the food and the irradiation process kills disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella and, as such, improves food safety.”


“It does not make the food radioactive,” he said.