What kinds of irradiated food are being marketed now?

(From The American Dietetic Association Position: Food irradiation, and the Utah State University Extension Fact Sheet)

Until recently, only irradiated dried spices and enzymes were marketed in the United States. In January 1992, irradiated Florida strawberries were sold at a North Miami supermarket. Poultry irradiation began commercially in 1993.

How can I identify irradiated food products?

Food irradiation rules from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Product Purpose of irradiation Dose permitted (kiloGray) Date of rule
Wheat and wheat powder Disinfest insects 0.2-0.5 August 21, 1963
White potatoes Extend shelf life 0.05-0.15 November 1, 1965
Spices and dry vegetable seasoning Decontamination/disinfest insects 30 (max) July 15, 1983
Dry or dehydrated enzyme preparations Control insects and microorganisms 10 (max) June 10, 1985
Pork carcasses or fresh noncut processed cuts Control Trichinella spiralis 0.3 (min)-1.0 (max) July 22, 1985
Fresh fruits Delay maturation 1 April 18, 1986
Dry or dehydrated enzyme preparations Decontamination 10 April 18, 1986
Dry or dehydrated aromatic vegetable substances Decontamination 30 April 18, 1986
Poultry Control illness-causing microorganisms 3 May 2, 1990


Prepared Summer 1997 by Bernadene Magnuson, Ph.D.
University of Idaho, Dept. of Food Science and Toxicology - EXTOXNET FAQ Team.