FDA: Processed food may not be safer than raw

Food processing steps may be necessary for food processors to ensure they are not putting the consumer at risk, the Food and Drug Administration says.

Food processors can’t use any food safety technologies that rely on “the use of a machine to remove raw materials or contaminants,” FDA spokeswoman Kelly McCurdy told CBS News.

But she says a food processing step can provide assurance that food will not be contaminated if it is processed using a “robust, non-chemical, natural food process that removes raw materials and contaminants from food.”

The agency says the step is necessary because it is “not feasible to process raw foods using traditional methods.”

“The safety of raw foods is an ongoing and evolving issue, and this information should inform decision-making about the safest way to process food,” McCurdy said.

The FDA is asking the public to report any problems with raw foods to the agency at: www.fda.gov/FoodSafety/Products/RawFoods/Pages/RawProducts.aspx.