The technology of food irradiation is gaining more attention around the world. This method is recognized by using ionising radiation in order to control foodborne pathogens, reduce microbial load and insect infestation, inhibit the germination of root crops, extend the durable life of perishable produce, and reduce plant-derived allergens. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), more than 50 countries have approved the use of irradiation for about 50 different types of food, and 33 are using the technology commercially. Despite the fact that irradiation has been used for decades for food disinfection that satisfies quarantine requirements in trade, health concerns over the consumption of irradiated food continue to attract attention. This low-cost method has the advantage that the organoleptic properties of irradiated foods are not altered, allowing, however, to increase their bioactivity and nutritional quality. This review focuses on the advantages of irradiation applied to foods of plant origin. With proper application, irradiation can be an effective means of eliminating and/or reducing microbial and insect infestations along with the foodborne diseases they induce, thereby improving the safety of many foods as well as extending shelf life.