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Retailers Introduce Irradiated Beef to Customers in Mid-Atlantic/Northeast

SAN DIEGO and SUNBURY, Pa. - Two supermarket chains, Safeway and Weis Markets, recently signed on with SureBeam Corp. to offer consumers in several Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states irradiated fresh ground beef.

San Diego, Calif.-based Safeway is adding the beef to all 136 of its Eastern Division supermarkets in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets Inc. has said it would begin selling irradiated fresh ground beef on Feb. 2 in stores throughout its marketing area in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.

Weis said it would be the first to market with irradiated fresh ground beef products in many of its Central Pennsylvania markets including Harrisburg, Lancaster and York.

Both Safeway and Weis will be selling SureBeam processed fresh ground beef in one-pound packages of 85-percent and 93-percent lean. The packages will be clearly labeled and marked as being processed through the SureBeam method.

"Safeway's primary goal is to provide customers with the highest quality food products available," said Roger Herding, Safeway Eastern Division marketing VP. "As consumers have become increasingly concerned about the safety and wholesomeness of the ground beef they are purchasing, we believe that this product will help ease their concerns."

Likewise, Weis Markets president Norman S. Rich said his company works to maintain "the highest food safety standards.

"SureBeam fresh irradiated ground beef offers customers an extra level of safety without sacrificing quality or taste. Every day our customers get our best including more options and better quality. It's what they have come to expect from Weis Markets," Rich said.

Similar to a microwave oven, SureBeam technology uses electricity as an energy source to irradiate harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. The SureBeam patented system is based on proven electron beam technology that destroys dangerous bacteria, much like thermal pasteurization does to milk.

There are now 2,100 stores in the Midwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic States offering SureBeam processed fresh ground beef. This is in addition to the thousands of supermarkets providing SureBeam processed frozen hamburger patties, which are also provided through home delivery, direct mail and food service.
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