22nd September 2023 – (Hong Kong) In response to the Japanese Government’s decision to discharge nuclear-contaminated water at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station, Hong Kong has taken decisive action to safeguard its food supply. The Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene has issued a Food Safety Order, prohibiting the import and supply of aquatic products, sea salt, and seaweeds from ten metropolis/prefectures in Japan. These include Tokyo, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Chiba, Gunma, Tochigi, Niigata, Nagano, and Saitama.
For other Japanese aquatic products, sea salt, and seaweeds not covered by the ban, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will conduct rigorous radiological tests. These tests aim to ensure that radiation levels in these products remain within the established safety guidelines before they are allowed to be sold in the local market.
Recognizing the unprecedented nature and duration of the nuclear-contaminated water discharge, the Hong Kong Government remains committed to closely monitoring and strengthening testing arrangements. If any anomalies are detected, the Government is prepared to further tighten the scope of the import ban.
Recent radiological testing conducted by the CFS offers reassuring results. From noon on 21st September to noon on 22nd September, a total of 162 food samples falling under the “aquatic and related products, seaweeds, and sea salt” category were tested, and none were found to exceed the safety limit.
Concurrently, the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department (AFCD) conducted radiological tests on 52 samples of locally caught seafood, all of which passed the rigorous examination.
In addition to the food safety measures, the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) has also intensified environmental monitoring of local waters. To date, no anomalies have been detected, ensuring the continued safety of Hong Kong’s coastal areas.
The collective efforts of the CFS, AFCD, and HKO have resulted in the successful testing of a significant number of food samples. From 24th August to the present, a total of 4,677 samples of food imported from Japan, including 2,776 samples of aquatic and related products, seaweeds, and sea salt, as well as 1,454 samples of local seafood, have all passed the rigorous radiological tests, ensuring the safety of the food supply in Hong Kong.
With these stringent measures in place, Hong Kong remains committed to upholding the highest standards of food safety, providing reassurance to its residents and maintaining public confidence amidst concerns surrounding the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima.