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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Lowes Foods has become the second regional chain to offer irradiated fresh, ground beef to consumers at 48 of its 105 stores. The company will offer products in one-pound packages of 93-percent lean ground beef and in 93-percent lean ground-beef patties.
"We decided to offer a choice for our customers who are concerned about making sure the ground beef they prepare is cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F," said Barbara Saulpaugh, VP of perishables marketing for Lowes Foods, whose irradiated ground beef will be processed with San Diego-based SureBeam Corp.'s electron beam technology.
"The Surebeam process to irradiate beef provides another layer of security for those who are especially concerned about eliminating the threat of e-coli bacteria in the ground beef they consume," Saulpaugh added.
The move by Lowes Foods follows Wegmans Food Markets, which became the nation's first supermarket chain to introduce irradiated ground beef under its own private label last May.
"Irradiating food has been proven to be a safe way to reduce the risk of food-borne illness, while maintaining the high quality and complete nutritional value of the food," said Melissa Taylor Scherpereel, food safety communicator with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.
Founded in 1954, Lowes Foods operates 105 stores in North Carolina and Virginia.