Which categories of foods may be irradiated and sold in the UK?
The European Commission has agreed a list of irradiated foods that can be freely traded across the European Union (EU). The list is not complete and at present it has only one food group: dried aromatic herbs, spices and vegetable seasonings. Until this list is complete, EU member states may continue to allow the irradiation of additional categories of foods.
In the UK there are seven categories of food which may be irradiated. For each category of food the 'maximum overall average dose' that can be used is specified in units of kilograys (kGy):
- fruit, 2kGy
- vegetables, 1kGy
- cereals, 1kGy
- bulbs and tubers, 0.2kGy
- dried aromatic herbs, spices and vegetable seasonings, 10kGy
- fish and shellfish, 3kGy
- poultry, 7kGy
These categories of food can also be irradiated and used as ingredients in other food products.