Is Food Irradiation the answer to reducing risk of illness from E. coli ?


For years, the phrase "Food Irradiation" left many consumers running for the hills ... or at least for the closest organic-certified farm. Now, in the wake of an E.coli outbreak and the largest beef recall in Canadian history ... an old idea is being reconsidered. We're weighing the case for food irradiation.

Is Food Irradiation the answer to reducing risk of illness from E. coli ?

The processing plant at the centre of the largest meat recall in Canadian history could be up and running again by the end of this week.

The company - XL - had its license was revoked after beef contaminated with E.coli was linked to the plant. In all, 1,800 products -- more than 1.5 million pounds of beef -- have been recalled. The outbreak caused anger, fear and demands for change. One suggested change is to irradiate beef and other meat products to reduce the risk of illnesses.

Rick Holley thinks its an idea that is long-over due. He teaches in the Department of Food Science at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. And Karen Graham is a registered dietitian who has done a lot of work on food irradiation and she has some concerns about the idea. She was in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Anna Maria spoke with them yesterday.

This segment was produced by The Current's Gord Westmacott.

Other segments from today's show:

U.S. Voter ID laws: Suppressing the vote or curbing voter fraud?

Developing the oilsands: Former Suncor CEO Rick George

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