Nuclear Event and Food Safety

Following the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident in 2011, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department imposed various import restrictions on Japanese food. The import of vegetables, fruits and milk products from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba and Gunma prefectures are prohibited. The import of all chilled or frozen game, meat and poultry, poultry eggs and all live, chilled or frozen aquatic products from the five aforementioned prefectures are prohibited, unless they are accompanied by a certificate issued by the competent authority of Japan attesting that the radiation levels of I-131, Cs-134 and Cs-137 do not exceed the guideline levels of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex). For every consignment of food products imported from Japan (not only limited to the aforementioned types of food from the aforementioned five prefectures), CFS has been conducting tests on the radiation levels.

According to the information provided by the international organizations, I-131 has a relatively short half-life (8 days) and will decay within a short time after a nuclear event. The Fukushima nuclear power plant incident occurred for more than six years. Various places/countries, such as the European Union (EU) and Singapore, no longer require food exported from Japan to be tested for I-131 but only require the competent authority of Japan to attest that the radiation levels of Cs-134 and Cs-137 do not exceed the Codex guideline levels.

Having consulted the Expert Committee on Food Safety, with effect from 8 December 2017, CFS has no longer required the aforementioned types of food from the five aforementioned prefectures of Japan to be tested for I-131 but has continued to require the competent authority of Japan to attest that the radiation levels of Cs-134 and Cs-137 of those specified food do not exceed the Codex guideline levels. Also, for every consignment of food products imported from Japan, CFS has continued to conduct tests on the radiation levels. The Japan authorities were informed.

Japan Nuclear Incidents

From 16 March 2011 onwards, the Centre for Food Safety will update the figures of the food surveillance on the website every working day.

Click here to view the figures

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