Responding to a WSJ blurb (Dec. 19) about the U.S.'s attempts to safely reduce occurrences of E. coli in meat, Ralph W., M.D., writes a letter supporting irradiation. And no, it doesn't make the food radioactive AT ALL, contrary to urban legend and/or popular belief. In particular:
"Irradiation of the final product with Cobalt 60 or Cesium 137 is safe, effective and economical. It kills the bacteria and does no harm to the food. The process was approved by government regulators years ago but never widely used because of irrational fears of adverse effects..."
If you take an undergrad microbiology course, you will learn this, as I did. Shame on me for not thinking of it immediately when I read the article!