WASHINGTON (AP) - The government will allow food producers to
start zapping fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce with just enough
radiation to kill dangerous bacteria.
The safety move comes amid increasing outbreaks from raw
Irradiated meat has been around for years, particularly ground
beef, which is a favorite hiding spot for E. coli.
But there have been long-standing concerns that zapping leafy
greens with X-rays or other means of radiation would leave them
limp. Today's modern techniques have eliminated that issue.
The grocery industry asked the Food and Drug Administration to
extend the use of irradiation to plants several years ago. The new
rules go into effect tomorrow.
The government is still considering what other types of produce
might be OK to irradiate.