At Omaha Steaks we are proud to provide you with the finest quality, safe and wholesome food. Throughout our 90-year history, we have always taken food safety very seriously. Our top priority is ensuring the integrity of our products and the trust of our customers. That's why we use an innovative food safety technology called irradiation on all our ground beef.
What is the process of irradiation and how does it work?
Food irradiation is the process of exposing food products to electromagnetic energy. Irradiation has been tested and used for decades to destroy illness-causing bacteria that may be present in food. The process Omaha Steaks has chosen to use, utilizes a carefully measured amount of electromagnetic energy generated by ionizing radiation, which kills the bacteria. The result is food that is safer for you.
Will irradiated ground beef have a different appearance, taste or nutritional quality than ground beef that has not gone through this process?
No. Irradiation produces virtually no heat within the ground beef so it does not "cook" the product. You'll still get the quality, great taste and nutrition you've come to expect from Omaha Steaks' ground beef. What it does give you is an extra measure of food safety.
What are the benefits to my family and me?
The process of irradiation enhances the safety of food products, destroying most bacteria that may be present such as E.coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. Because spoilage bacteria are destroyed by electromagnetic energy, irradiation can also extend the shelf life of food products. With irradiation you can buy ground beef with the same confidence you have when you buy pasteurized milk.
Does Irradiation make food radioactive?
No. Irradiated ground beef is wholesome and absolutely safe.
Why did Omaha Steaks decide to offer irradiated ground beef?
After extensive testing, the USDA approved irradiation for meats in February 2000. Omaha Steaks has a tradition of bringing quality, great taste, convenience and the latest in food technology to our customers. When irradiation for ground beef with all its benefits became available, Omaha Steaks immediately began researching the process. As soon as we were convinced of its benefits to our customers we put this process into operation. In this way, Omaha Steaks has continued its commitment to superior quality and safety.
Why is Omaha Steaks using irradiation on Ground Beef only?
Steaks and roasts are solid pieces of meat that bacteria cannot permeate. Any bacteria that may exist on the surface of the meat is eliminated as soon as the product is heated. Unlike solid cuts of meat, the potential exists that surface bacteria may have been mixed within ground beef.
How can I tell if my ground beef has been irradiated?
Ground beef that has been irradiated is required by law to be marked with the international symbol for irradiation called a Radura, and labeled with the words "treated by irradiation."
Do I handle Omaha Steak's ground beef any differently than ground beef that have not been irradiated?
You should handle our ground beef the same way you would handle any perishable food item. Irradiating food typically can eliminate most harmful bacteria from food however, the technology is not meant to replace current food safety practices-it's meant to supplement them. You should always use safe handling practices when preparing any foods, including our irradiated ground beef. It is important that all consumers properly handle foods at home in order to avoid contaminating food with germs from other sources.
Is the irradiation process safe?
Absolutely. In fact, irradiation has been endorsed by many respected national and international organizations. Following are some of the health and government organizations who support irradiation:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
U.S. Public Health Service
Institute of Food Technologists
American Medical Association
World Health Organization
American Dietetic Association
Who could I contact if I had further questions or comments?
If you have further questions or comments we'd love to hear from you. Please contact us on our toll free, food safety line 1-877-789-7117, or access Omaha Steaks safety website www.omahasteaks.com/safety. Or if you would prefer, you can contact the Food Safety Technology Council (FSTC) a resource created by leading food safety experts to help inform the public. They can be reached at at www.foodsafetycouncil.com.