FDA allows ionizing radiation in shell eggs

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The FDA is amending the food additive regulations to provide for the safe use of ionizing radiation for the reduction of Salmonella in fresh shell eggs, following a petition from Edward S. Josephson, University of Rhode Island, Food Science and Nutrition Research Center. The petitioner submitted published articles and other study reports containing data and information related to eggs and other kinds of food in the area of radiation chemistry, nutrition, toxicology, and microbiology. On the basis of the data and studies submitted in the petition and data from the agency's files, the FDA concluded that the proposed use of irradiation on fresh shell eggs at levels not to exceed 3.0 kGy is safe, and that irradiation can achieve its intended technical effect.

The rule was effective July 21, with written objections and requests for a hearing to have been accepted until August 21.