IBA Food Safety Division, the leading developer of advanced food irradiation facilities in the U.S., today announced an agreement with AmeriCold Logistics to construct an X-ray food irradiation facility at AmeriCold’s site in Carthage, Mo. Located at the crossroads of the nation’s primary meat and poultry production regions, Carthage is the largest cold storage facility in the United States.

Completely dedicated to the irradiation of meat, poultry, fruits, vegetables and other perishable foods, the new IBA X-ray facility will allow AmeriCold Logistics, the nation’s largest provider of temperature-controlled storage and food distribution services, to provide customers with the most advanced X-ray food processing technology available.

Under the terms of the agreement, AmeriCold Logistics will provide product handling services for IBA customers and offer storage and distribution of frozen, refrigerated or dry foods and products for food processing companies choosing to benefit from X-ray irradiation technology. IBA will lease space from AmeriCold to construct the new X-ray processing center, scheduled to open in mid-2002. Both IBA and AmeriCold expect this facility to be the first of several AmeriCold locations to offer advanced IBA X-ray food irradiation processing.

“The food industry is asking for access to X-ray processing centers to introduce irradiated products,” says IBA Food Safety Division President, Pat Adams. “IBA is committed to building a network of the most advanced X-ray facilities across the U.S. — and that means putting facilities where our customers need them — both on-site and at regional service centers.”

According to AmeriCold Logistics CEO, Dan McNamara, “Irradiation is a process that many of our customers are evaluating. As the leading cold storage provider in the U.S., we believe that AmeriCold Logistics is in good position to assist the food industry by providing them with access to improved food safety technology.”

IBA has a strategic alliance with Ecolab Inc., the world leader in critical environment sanitation systems and services, to provide food processors with one comprehensive resource for integrated, multiple intervention food safety programs. Ecolab’s offerings include the latest in advanced detergents and sanitizers, automated systems to improve operational efficiencies, employee hygiene programs, and patented food surface treatment products. Combined with IBA’s leading-edge food irradiation technology and support services, this represents the most comprehensive food safety program available today.

“Working with IBA and its partner Ecolab is simply good business since we’ll be combining the force of three world leaders in temperature-controlled food handling logistics, advanced irradiation technologies, and critical sanitation systems and services. We expect customers will be eager to take advantage of this unique alliance,” said McNamara.

In June 2000, the IBA Food Safety Division also announced the opening of a new X-ray test center in Edgewood, N.Y., allowing food producers to develop X-ray irradiation plans for ready-to-eat meats (including hot dogs and deli meats), raw poultry, ground beef, and fresh and frozen vegetables. More recently, IBA announced the USDA go-ahead for gamma irradiation of meat and poultry at the IBA facility in Schaumburg, Ill. Also underway is construction of the IBA X-ray processing facility located in Bridgeport, N.J., the first of its kind to offer large-capacity X-ray processing in the U.S. This facility is scheduled to open before the Carthage regional service center in the second quarter 2001.

With more than 1,200 employees at 47 different sites in 12 countries on three continents, IBA is a recognized world leader in the areas of sterilization and ionization, advanced radiotherapy and radioisotopes. The IBA Food Safety Division, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., is focused on pathogenic microbial reduction in food products (spices, herbs, fresh food items) and food packaging. IBA has been producing irradiation systems for more than 40 years and in particular, treating foods, including poultry, seafood, cheese and spices for more than 15 years. IBA corporate offices are located in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

AmeriCold Logistics, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is a global leader in the temperature-controlled supply chain. The company employs more than 6,000 associates in 100 facilities, including regional, consolidated and dedicated distribution centers that operate more than 500 million cubic feet of multi-temperature space. AmeriCold Logistics handles in excess of 11.2 million cases of food product per day, serving 3500 customers, including every major food manufacturer in the U.S. and their customers around the world.

Irradiation is approved by the United States department of agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Irradiation is also endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Food & Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.

For more information about IBA, please visit http://www.iba.be