FDA to allow radiation of spinach and lettuce

FDA to allow radiation of spinach and lettuce
August 23, 2008 HealthNewsHound

Source: Reuters

Health regulators have approved the use of ionizing radiation for fresh spinach and lettuce, saying the technique already approved for other foods can help control harmful bacteria and other pathogens.

The Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday the radiation treatment also would make the leafy greens last longer and give them greater “shelf-life” for retailers and consumers.

The approval comes two years after E. coli outbreaks linked to spinach and lettuce sold in grocery stores and served at various restaurants. Outbreaks of the dangerous bacteria sickened dozens of consumers and led some to be hospitalized.

Foods already approved for radiation treatment include meat, poultry, spices and molluscan shellfish such as oysters, mussels and clams.