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Food Safety Focus (206th Issue, September 2023) – Article 4

Radiation Level in Food

As Japan is discharging nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima facility into the ocean, there are concerns that aquatic products may become contaminated by radionuclides especially those long half-life ones like caesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium-239. Intake of such radioactive substances over the long run may pose increased cancer risk.

In response to Japan’s discharge of nuclear-contaminated water, a Food Safety Order was issued to prohibit the import of all aquatic products originating from Tokyo, Fukushima, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Miyagi, Niigata, Nagano and Saitama metropolis/prefectures if they are harvested, manufactured, processed or packed on or after 24 August 2023. All aquatic products from other parts of Japan will be tested to verify that the radiation levels of these products do not exceed the Codex guideline levels. To enhance transparency, the analytical results, which include all unsatisfactory samples and samples with a low level of detectable radioactivity detected, are reported and uploaded onto the CFS website every working day.