Irradiation of Pet Foods Approved; Peace of Mind for Pet Owners; Most-Effective Safety Technology for Manufacturers

Apr 10, 2001, 01:00 ET from IBA Food Safety Division

    MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Domestic pet food can now be
 irradiated to protect dogs, cats and their owners against potentially deadly
 bacteria in their food.  The go-ahead comes after the approval today, by the
 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a petition filed by the Food Safety
 Division of IBA, a world leader in irradiation technology.
     Despite stringent processing standards, and the increasing efforts of
 major pet food manufacturers, salmonella remains a threat to pet foods, animal
 feed and particularly those that handle these products.  Contaminated food can
 sicken pets but presents the greatest potential threat to pet owners,
 particularly children.
     Under the terms of the FDA approval, bagged complete diets, packaged
 feeds, feed ingredients and most importantly dog chews such as pigs' ears and
 rawhides are all approved for treatment by irradiation.  Also approved are dry
 farm animal feeds, birdseeds and fish food.
     The move to treat pet foods follows similar FDA and United States
 Department of Agriculture (USDA) approvals for use of irradiation on human
 food.  Pork, poultry and beef are all approved for treatment by irradiation,
 and there is a growing worldwide demand for safer and cleaner fruits and
 vegetables treated by irradiation, the only tool that can assure at least
 99.9 percent of the insects and disease causing bacteria are eliminated.
     "This is welcomed news for pet food manufacturers and pet owners
 everywhere," says Tom Mates, vice president, commodity products at IBA Food
 Safety Division.  "Pet food manufactures have worked continuously to eliminate
 pathogens like Salmonella from the production process but now have full
 approval to use the only tool that can treat these products after they have
 been packaged and sealed.  This eliminates any chance of recontamination."
     Major Salmonella outbreaks in pet chews produced in Canada in the fall of
 1999 caused more than 30 serious illnesses, most cases in children who were
 feeding the chews to their dogs.  The outbreaks resulted in ten voluntary
 recalls and lead Health Canada to issue public warnings and health advisories.
 Following this, and subsequent outbreaks in the USA and Europe, the FDA
 allowed pet chew manufacturers to treat pet chews with irradiation on a
 case-by-case basis under special letters, to ensure manufacturers had access
 to a solution until this full approval could be issued.
     "Other than a guarantee of safer food for our pets and animals, the
 immediate impact from this approval will be to greatly reduce the risk of
 contaminated pet food in the home.  This will protect children, seniors and
 anyone with a weakened immune system such as diabetics, cancer survivors or
 people who have recently undergone surgery," says Pat Adams, president of IBA
 Food Safety Division.
     "Beyond this, irradiation of bulk feeds for cattle, swine and poultry may
 also reduce the transmission of bacteria to these animals and reduce the risk
 of contamination in the human food chain when people eat these products.  This
 is one more step in the ongoing fight for food safety," adds Adams.
     Irradiation of human food has already been approved by the FDA for the
 treatment of poultry, red meat, vegetables, sprout seeds and eggs, and has
 been shown to be an extremely powerful and environmentally friendly weapon
 against disease-provoking bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella.
 Irradiation is approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
 and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  It is also endorsed by the World
 Health Organization (WHO), the American Medical Association, the Center for
 Disease Control (CDC), the American Dietetic association (ADA) the Food &
 Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and virtually all-worldwide
 scientific organizations.
     Information on IBA is available on the Web at http://www.IBA.be
 
     About IBA
     IBA is a world leader in the production of high-precision cancer treatment
 systems using proton beams, the manufacture of radioisotope-producing
 cyclotrons and the development of centers for the distribution of FDG, a
 radiopharmaceutical used in cancer diagnosis.  IBA has been producing
 irradiation systems for over 40 years and in particular, treating foods,
 including poultry, seafood, cheese and spices for over 15 years.  The Food
 Safety Division is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., and the IBA corporate
 offices are in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
     IBA has a strategic alliance with Ecolab Inc., world leader in critical
 environment sanitation systems and services, to provide food processors with
 one comprehensive resource for integrated, multiple intervention food safety
 programs.  Ecolab offerings include the latest in advanced detergents and
 sanitizers, automated systems to improve operational efficiencies, employee
 hygiene programs, and patented food surface treatment products.  Combined with
 IBA's leading-edge food irradiation technology and support services, these
 represent the most comprehensive food safety program available today.
     With more than 1300 employees at 49 different sites in 12 countries on
 three continents, IBA is a recognized world leader in both its industrial
 markets (Sterilization and Ionization) and medical markets (Advanced
 Radiotherapy and Radioisotopes).  By leveraging its unique expertise in
 particle accelerator technology, advanced physics and chemistry, IBA continues
 to fulfill its worldwide mission, that of providing high-value innovative
 solutions in the areas of health and well-being.  Listed on the Brussels Stock
 Exchange since June 1998, IBA's consolidated sales figure for 2000 shows
 growth of 67 percent increasing to 236 million EUR.  Listed on the new
 pan-European Stock Exchange EURONEXT, the IBA share is indexed on NEXT 150.
     The IBA Food Safety Division is focused on microbial reduction in food
 products and food packaging.  It is also actively developing centers for the
 processing of fresh and frozen red meat, poultry and fresh fruits and
 vegetables.  The newest facility in Bridgeport, N.J., will open in mid-2001,
 with the largest capacity x-ray system in the USA.  IBA Food Safety can also
 offer customers new in-house, in-line food irradiation systems.
 
 

SOURCE IBA Food Safety Division
    MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Domestic pet food can now be
 irradiated to protect dogs, cats and their owners against potentially deadly
 bacteria in their food.  The go-ahead comes after the approval today, by the
 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a petition filed by the Food Safety
 Division of IBA, a world leader in irradiation technology.
     Despite stringent processing standards, and the increasing efforts of
 major pet food manufacturers, salmonella remains a threat to pet foods, animal
 feed and particularly those that handle these products.  Contaminated food can
 sicken pets but presents the greatest potential threat to pet owners,
 particularly children.
     Under the terms of the FDA approval, bagged complete diets, packaged
 feeds, feed ingredients and most importantly dog chews such as pigs' ears and
 rawhides are all approved for treatment by irradiation.  Also approved are dry
 farm animal feeds, birdseeds and fish food.
     The move to treat pet foods follows similar FDA and United States
 Department of Agriculture (USDA) approvals for use of irradiation on human
 food.  Pork, poultry and beef are all approved for treatment by irradiation,
 and there is a growing worldwide demand for safer and cleaner fruits and
 vegetables treated by irradiation, the only tool that can assure at least
 99.9 percent of the insects and disease causing bacteria are eliminated.
     "This is welcomed news for pet food manufacturers and pet owners
 everywhere," says Tom Mates, vice president, commodity products at IBA Food
 Safety Division.  "Pet food manufactures have worked continuously to eliminate
 pathogens like Salmonella from the production process but now have full
 approval to use the only tool that can treat these products after they have
 been packaged and sealed.  This eliminates any chance of recontamination."
     Major Salmonella outbreaks in pet chews produced in Canada in the fall of
 1999 caused more than 30 serious illnesses, most cases in children who were
 feeding the chews to their dogs.  The outbreaks resulted in ten voluntary
 recalls and lead Health Canada to issue public warnings and health advisories.
 Following this, and subsequent outbreaks in the USA and Europe, the FDA
 allowed pet chew manufacturers to treat pet chews with irradiation on a
 case-by-case basis under special letters, to ensure manufacturers had access
 to a solution until this full approval could be issued.
     "Other than a guarantee of safer food for our pets and animals, the
 immediate impact from this approval will be to greatly reduce the risk of
 contaminated pet food in the home.  This will protect children, seniors and
 anyone with a weakened immune system such as diabetics, cancer survivors or
 people who have recently undergone surgery," says Pat Adams, president of IBA
 Food Safety Division.
     "Beyond this, irradiation of bulk feeds for cattle, swine and poultry may
 also reduce the transmission of bacteria to these animals and reduce the risk
 of contamination in the human food chain when people eat these products.  This
 is one more step in the ongoing fight for food safety," adds Adams.
     Irradiation of human food has already been approved by the FDA for the
 treatment of poultry, red meat, vegetables, sprout seeds and eggs, and has
 been shown to be an extremely powerful and environmentally friendly weapon
 against disease-provoking bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella.
 Irradiation is approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
 and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  It is also endorsed by the World
 Health Organization (WHO), the American Medical Association, the Center for
 Disease Control (CDC), the American Dietetic association (ADA) the Food &
 Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and virtually all-worldwide
 scientific organizations.
     Information on IBA is available on the Web at http://www.IBA.be
 
     About IBA
     IBA is a world leader in the production of high-precision cancer treatment
 systems using proton beams, the manufacture of radioisotope-producing
 cyclotrons and the development of centers for the distribution of FDG, a
 radiopharmaceutical used in cancer diagnosis.  IBA has been producing
 irradiation systems for over 40 years and in particular, treating foods,
 including poultry, seafood, cheese and spices for over 15 years.  The Food
 Safety Division is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., and the IBA corporate
 offices are in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
     IBA has a strategic alliance with Ecolab Inc., world leader in critical
 environment sanitation systems and services, to provide food processors with
 one comprehensive resource for integrated, multiple intervention food safety
 programs.  Ecolab offerings include the latest in advanced detergents and
 sanitizers, automated systems to improve operational efficiencies, employee
 hygiene programs, and patented food surface treatment products.  Combined with
 IBA's leading-edge food irradiation technology and support services, these
 represent the most comprehensive food safety program available today.
     With more than 1300 employees at 49 different sites in 12 countries on
 three continents, IBA is a recognized world leader in both its industrial
 markets (Sterilization and Ionization) and medical markets (Advanced
 Radiotherapy and Radioisotopes).  By leveraging its unique expertise in
 particle accelerator technology, advanced physics and chemistry, IBA continues
 to fulfill its worldwide mission, that of providing high-value innovative
 solutions in the areas of health and well-being.  Listed on the Brussels Stock
 Exchange since June 1998, IBA's consolidated sales figure for 2000 shows
 growth of 67 percent increasing to 236 million EUR.  Listed on the new
 pan-European Stock Exchange EURONEXT, the IBA share is indexed on NEXT 150.
     The IBA Food Safety Division is focused on microbial reduction in food
 products and food packaging.  It is also actively developing centers for the
 processing of fresh and frozen red meat, poultry and fresh fruits and
 vegetables.  The newest facility in Bridgeport, N.J., will open in mid-2001,
 with the largest capacity x-ray system in the USA.  IBA Food Safety can also
 offer customers new in-house, in-line food irradiation systems.
 
 SOURCE  IBA Food Safety Division