Wegmans reintroduces irradiated fresh ground beef
17 August 2006 ROCHESTER, N.Y. USA — Officials with Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. have announced the retailer is again offering irradiated ground beef at its 71 retail stores. Wegmans was one of the first retailers to offer irradiated beef in 2002 and discontinued carrying the products when the provider of its irradiation service, SureBeam Corp., filed for bankruptcy in 2004.
Wegmans has reintroduced the product in 1-pound rolls in 80% and 90% lean varieties and now touts that its irradiated beef should especially appeal to burger lovers. In a press release posted on its Web site, the company says the irradiated product doesn’t necessarily have to be cooked to 160 degrees like traditional ground beef, “because dangerous microorganisms have been killed or rendered incapable of causing illness.” The company also offers non-irradiated ground beef.
Jeanne Colleluori, Wegmans’ communications specialist, says the company’s decision to offer irradiated product again was linked to the re-opening of the e-beam facility by Sadex, Sioux City, Iowa.
When asked about the benefit of irradiation to hamburger-hungry consumers and the necessity of cooking ground beef to 160 degrees, Colleluori says, “Now they can cook them the way they like.