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Food Safety Focus (88th Issue, November 2013) – Food Incident Highlight

Bluefin Tuna Caught off California Coast Detected with Radioactivity

Recently, a study reported that bluefin tuna caught in the waters off California were contaminated with radiocaesium originated from Fukushima and this has raised public concern.

Radiocaesium has a relatively long half-life and lingers in the environment for many years. Bluefin tuna can be contaminated with radiocaesium when they swim through the contaminated water or by eating marine organisms that have already been contaminated. However, evaluation conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration revealed that the levels of radiocaesium detected in the tuna fish were far below the Codex guideline level and indicates no health concerns.

After the nuclear incident in Japan in 2011, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has stepped up surveillance for radioactivity for food imported from Japan at both import and retail levels to ensure that food for sale in Hong Kong is safe for consumption. The CFS would continue to closely monitor the situation.