Fresta starts independent radiation testing

In an attempt to allay (cynics might say exploit) consumer anxieties over food safety in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, local supermarket chain Fresta has begun taking independent radiation measurements of a selection of its products.

The chain is measuring levels of Cesium 134 and 137 and Iodine 131  in 5- 10 products daily, selected from a pool of 350-400 products using a 6 million yen radiation detector at its distribution center in Asa-minami-ku. Results are posted on the company’s website here, divided into the following three categories “below measurable limits” (検出せず) said to be 20 bequerels per kilogram, “within guidelines” (「規制値以内) and “exceeds guidelines” (規制値以上). Any products in the final category will immediately removed from shelves and passed on to a facility for more rigorous analysis. At the moment results for a total of 26 rice, meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, dairy, tea and processed food products tested since late December are on the site.

The only product that has raised concerns so far is a tea product from Shizuoka tested on January 4, which was found to be positive for Cesium. On further analysis it was found that levels were within government safety guidelines.


Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of and loves running in the mountains.