A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune highlighted common myths about food safety, including myths about irradiation and E. coli:
Myth: It’s unsafe to eat meat or other foods that have been irradiated.
Reality: Federal health officials say irradiation kills E. coli, salmonella, campylobacter and other organisms that make consumers sick without posing health risks or significantly reducing nutritional quality or taste.
What to do: If you’re concerned, check the label. The Food and Drug Administration requires warnings on all irradiated foods.
Myth: E. coli is commonly found in red meat.
Reality: It’s true that undercooked, contaminated ground beef has caused more E. coli-related illnesses than any other food. The bacteria, the leading cause of foodborne illness, also have been found in bean sprouts and fresh leafy greens, possibly from contaminated water or contact with cattle waste.
What to do: Cook hamburgers until they’re brown and have an internal temperature of 160 degrees.