I was worried about some defrosted pork loin that had been in the refrigerator for over a week. So I first put it in the microwave oven for about a minute before grilling it. I assumed that any microbes in the interior would be killed by the temperature which could reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit in that time. I don’t assume that microwave radiation would kill anything directly.
But that made me curious about irradiated food. Since the mid 1950’s I had heard radiation proposed as a way to kill pathogens in food. While the idea was popular in the 1950’s it was treated as poison from the 1960’s on.
I didn’t know the current status. I always knew that levels of radiation that would kill pathogens would not make food radioactive or change the food molecules. Turns out to be true.
Much of the world uses radiation from Cobalt 60 to irradiate food and America does too. I couldn’t find out how prevalent it is. Many national chain restaurants could have used it on raw veggies and avoided a lot of grief. Like Chipotle’s.
I don’t expect to find a reliable source to tell me which foods are irradiated and how much food is irradiated. I would love to buy more of it.
Today I will start looking for the label that I have shown in the upper right that is required on all American irradiated food.