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Food Safety

Directive 1999/2/EC: General – Bringing together the EU countries' laws

Directive 1999/3/EC: Implementing – EU list of irradiated food and food ingredients

EU countries must use validated or standardised analytical methods to detect irradiated foods.

Foods & food ingredients authorised for irradiation in the EU

Currently, these are:

  • Fruit and vegetables including root vegetables

  • Cereals, cereal flakes, rice flour

  • Spices, condiments

  • Fish, shellfish

  • Fresh meats, poultry, frog legs

  • Raw milk camembert

  • Gum arabic, casein/caseinates, egg white

  • Blood products

The list of Member States’ authorisations of food and food ingredients which may be treated with ionising radiation is available here.

Analytical methods

The analytical methods for the detection of irradiated foods are standardised by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN). CEN has standardised the methods upon a Commission mandate.

The European standards have been adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as General Methods and are referred to in the Codex General Standard for Irradiated Foods in section 6.4 on 'Post-irradiation verification'.