US meat producer Swift & Co is inviting selected outsiders, including members of the media, to tour its meatpacking plant to see its improved food-safety measures.

The company, which was forced to recall 18.6 million pounds of ground beef last summer after E.coli was found to have contaminated beef at its Greeley, Colorado plant, is hoping to allay any fears the public may have about the safety of its products.

The company, which is 45% owned by US meat processor ConAgra Foods, said it has invested US$30m on food-safety improvements in recent years, and is also spending $2.5m to upgrade its fabrication floor at the Greeley plant, reported the Associated Press.

Swift also plans to introduce an irradiated beef line, where bacteria is killed using radiation, but this process will only be applied to a minority of produce due to consumer scepticism about irradiation.

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