Food Technology Service (FTSI), a company which specialises in irradiating food, has launched its own brand of food products.
I-Care Foods is a range of chicken, turkey, beef, and egg products which have been irradiated to remove pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli 0157:H7.
"These products look, taste and are used just like similar non-irradiated foods," claimed FTSI CEO Dr Richard Hunter. "The only difference is that they are virtually free of the germs that can cause foodborne illness."
I-Care Foods will be marketed to those who are most susceptible to life-threatening illness that may be transmitted by food, Hunter said. This includes individuals recovering from acute illness, those suffering from chronic disease, and others whose immune systems are weakened by advancing age, cancer therapies or HIV. Contaminated or improperly cooked foods can delay recovery or even be fatal for these individuals.
Hunter said that the brand would also be targeted at companies providing food for their employees who could face serious financial costs if their workers become ill after eating that food.
I-Care Foods are available in packages sized for residential and for institutional use.
While food irradiation is relatively widespread in the US - and the recent threat of anthrax and other fatal diseases has reinforced consumers' faith in the process - it is still looked on with suspicion in much of Europe.
Irradiation of food has been permitted for a decade or more in Europe, but its growth has been hampered by the scepticism which has prevented GM foods from gaining the same legal status as they have in the US. Better communication - and clear evidence that irradiated foods can play a clear role in aiding the recovery of hospital patients, for example - could change all that.
Until then, however, the European market for products such as I-Care Foods is likely to be extremely limited.