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Japanese tea leaf sample detected with low levels of radioactivity
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     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (March 21) detected a tea leaf sample, imported from Japan and collected at import level for radiation testing, with low levels of radioactivity. The product concerned has not entered the local market.  

Product details are as follows:

Product name: "Gyokuro Japanese Green Tea leaves"@(Translation)
Place of origin: Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Packing size: 3 grams x 20 sachets
Best before date: August, 2015

     "The results of the radiation testings showed that Caesium-134 and Caesium-137 were detected at 8 Bq/kg and 22 Bq/kg respectively. The standard laid down by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in the guideline levels for radionuclides in foods contaminated following a nuclear or radiological emergency is 1,000 Bq/kg for Caesium-134 and Caesium-137," the spokesman said.

     The standards adopted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan for caesium are: 10 Bq/k for drinking water; 50 Bq/k for milk; 100 Bq/k for general food; and 50 Bq/k for baby food.

     The CFS has liaised with the importer concerned to follow up on the case. The product concerned has not entered the local market.

     In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident, the CFS has enhanced radiation testing on food imported from Japan at import, wholesale and retail levels since March 12, 2011. Apart from three unsatisfactory samples of Japanese vegetables found in March 2011, certain samples of Japanese food were also detected to contain low levels of radioactivity.

     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.

     Results of the food surveillance on Japanese food are uploaded to the CFS website daily: www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_rafs/programme_rafs_fc_01_30_Nuclear_Event_and_Food_Safety.html.

Ends/Friday, March 21, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:23

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