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.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Nuclear Incident and Health
- Radiation and Food Safety
- Import Surveillance and Control
- Iodine Prophylaxis and Health Concern
- Radioactively Contaminated Milk Powder
- Radioactively Contaminated Tea Leaves
- Radiological Standard for Bottled / Packaged Waters under Routine Condition
- Radioactively Contaminated Dried Mushroom
- Sample of Certificate on radiation levels in food for export to Hong Kong issued by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Government of Japan
- Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Section 78C(3), Chapter 132) Notice of Section 78B Order
- Food Surveillance Programme
Publication -- Food Safety Focus
- Fukushima Nuclear Incident- Updated Response Actions of the Centre for Food Safety (87th issue, October 2013)
- Low Level of Radioactivity in Japanese Dried Mushroom (86th Issue, September 2013)
- Radioactivity Detected in Japanese Green Tea Leaves (70th Issue, May 2012)
- Nuclear Incident and Seafood Safety (59th Issue, June 2011)
- Radioactive Contamination and the Food Chain (58th Issue, May 2011)
- Food Safety Responses to Nuclear Power Plant Incident in Japan (57th Issue, April 2011)
- Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department - Radiological Testing of Fishery Products
- Hong Kong Observatory - Radiation Monitoring, Assessment and Protection
- Security Bureau - Daya Bay Contingency of The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
- Department of Health - Radiation Health FAQs and Glossary