Radioactive food items in Japan receding in number, survey shows

Featured - October 1st, 2012
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Only 1% of food samples are found to be contaminated by radioactive fallout, underlining the ebbing contamination of most food items with even stricter standards for radioactive screening in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, a survey has shown.

Permissible standards for radioactive contamination were set to 100 becquerels per kilogram from 500 becquerels in previous inspections until March. The new accepted level for baby food and milk is 50 becquerels from 200, while water is approved at 10 becquerels. Even with the grim standards, results proved to be otherwise. Out of 114,000 food samples tested by the central and local governments in the past six months, only 1,394 samples were found to be contaminated – mostly fish products and mushrooms, an Asahi Shimbun survey shows.

“The spread of (radioactive) contamination is receding,” an official from the health ministry confirmed. The results under the stricter standards helped in assuaging fears of Japanese consumers, though many are still wary of purchasing food items from Fukushima and there is still distrust within the country.

Radioactive fallout from the Fukushima meltdown fell from the sky and accumulated in the ground, eventually finding its way to sea.