Radioactive Japanese oatmeal discovered in Hong Kong

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th August 2012

An oatmeal product manufactured in Japan has been found to be radioactive in Hong Kong, although the report also said the radioactivity of the food was ‘of low levels.’

The Hong Kong Government’s Centre for Food Safety discovered levels of radioactive caesium-137 in Nihonshokuhin Premium Pure Oatmeal, but said “there were no concerns” in consuming the affected product.

“The oats sample was collected from a local supermarket for radiation testing under the regular Food Surveillance Programme,” a Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety spokesman said.

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident, the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety has been conducting targeted radiation testing on food imported from Japan at import, wholesale and retail levels since March 12, 2011.

The Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety said the detected level of radiation in the oatmeal did not exceed the safety guideline levels. Dietary exposure estimation showed that an internal dose of Cs-137, even at a high consumption of the oats sample (about 90 grams of oats daily), would “not have adverse health effects.”

The Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety has a policy of announcing any positive test results in view of public concern about radioactivity in food products following the nuclear power plant incident at Fukushima in March 2011. However, the supermarket concerned was not ordered to recall the product but was informed of the test result.

“The CFS will continue to closely monitor information from Japan as well as the radiation testing results of Japanese food products in Hong Kong and elsewhere. It will review and adjust, if necessary, the surveillance strategy on food products imported from Japan in a timely manner, making reference to the recommendations of international authorities, to safeguard food safety,” a spokesman for the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety said.