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.


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