Food that has been irradiated is safe. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has endorsed the technology. Irradiation does not make food radioactive, compromise nutritional quality, or noticeably change the taste, texture, or appearance of food. Regarding the dose used in the irradiation of food, the WHO states “The Sky’s the Limit” as product is only irradiated as much as it requires.
Food irradiation (the application of ionizing radiation to food) is a technology that improves the safety and extends the shelf-life of foods by reducing or eliminating micro-organisms and insects. Like pasteurizing milk and canning fruits and vegetables, irradiation can make food safer for the consumer.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has evaluated the safety of irradiated food for more than 30 years and has found the process to be safe. The World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have also endorsed the safety of irradiated food. In South Africa the technology has been used for control of foodborne disease since the 1960’s.
NASA astronauts eat meat that has been sterilised by irradiation to avoid getting foodborne illnesses when they fly in space