One of the most commonly asked questions by our goodness customers is regarding food irradiation in Australia. So we thought we would get our goodness expert, Matt Ward, to answer this important question!
Food Standards Australia has comprehensive consumer information regarding food irradiation in Australia, see link below. Whilst I am not sure I agree with all of the advice in this publication there are two important take home points;
1. Only herbs and spices, herbal infusions and some tropical fruits have been approved to be irradiated and sold for human consumption in Australia.
2. A package of food that has been irradiated, or food that contains irradiated ingredients or components, must be labelled with a statement that the food, ingredients or components have been treated with ionising radiation.
Contrary to some popular myths, not all imported foods are irradiated, and if they are they have to be labeled as such. Further, irradiation is prohibited under the Australian Organic Standard. So, if its organic and sold by someone operating to the Australian Organic Standard (i.e. they are a certified organic supplier), then you can be assured that it has not been irradiated.
What treatment is the imported food exposed to as it comes through quarantine?
Foods that are imported into Australia are assessed by Australian Quarantine for risks associated with exotic pests and diseases and to ensure they meet Australian public health requirements.
Part of this assessment process involves profiling countries according to pests and diseases endemic in the country of origin, the products themselves, as well as the individual factories that some foods have been packed by.
Through a careful selection of; products, countries of origin and packers of the products; it is possible to avoid mandatory fumigation of imported foods. If an imported organic food is subject to treatment on arrival in Australia, at the direction of Australian Quarantine, the typical treatment of freezing still complies with the Australian Organic Standards.
The two main pest control measures for organic foodstuffs are freezing and modified atmosphere treatment (MAT). MAT involves decreasing oxygen content in the atmosphere immediately surrounding the foods to below approx 4% for an extended period of time. The time is dependent on humidity, temperature and the particularly pests involved.
We hope this answers some of your questions on irradiation of organic foods in Australia!
Matt Ward, along with the rest of Team Goodness, are committed to providing whole foods in their most pure and natural state, the way nature intended! And we can guarantee that absolutely none of the products in our range have been irradiated.
Our warehouse and production facility are organically certified and therefore never fumigated. We follow strict food handling guidelines and have a quality management system in place to ensure the best possible quality and handling of our products!