E-beam irradiation research: new fact sheet and video

Irradiation is approved for food treatment in over 50 countries. In Canada, irradiation is approved for spices, seasonings, flour, onions and potatoes. In the United States, irradiation is approved for use in meat at absorbed doses up to 7 kilo Gray (kGy), and it has been scientifically proven safe for food use at absorbed doses up to 60 kGy. Irradiation has insignificant effects on nutrients in beef, even at very high absorbed doses.

A recently-completed research project, funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster, studied the effectiveness of low-dose electron-beam treatment (at 1 kGy) in eliminating harmful bacteria in beef trim used to make ground beef.  It also studied whether a panel of taste-testers could determine whether or not patties were made with e-beam treated beef based on color, aroma, texture, juiciness or flavor. Continue reading

Latest Results from Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance

The Public Health Agency of Canada has completed its most recent report on the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS). This program monitors trends in antimicrobial resistance in beef cattle, swine and broiler chickens, and in meat samples collected from retail stores, with a focus on three bacteria of interest: E. coli, Campylobacter, and Salmonella.  Samples are also collected from healthy animals entering federally inspected abattoirs that process cattle (E. coli and Campylobacter), swine (E. coli and Salmonella), and chicken (E. coli, Campylobacter, and Salmonella). All three bacteria are also examined in retail chicken, and only E. coli testing results are reported for retail beef and pork because Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria are so rare in these meats. Continue reading