5,209 food samples imported from Japan and 1,654 samples of local catch tested by local authorities so far amid Fukushima water discharge

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26th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) In response to the Japanese Government’s plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station, Hong Kong authorities have taken proactive steps to safeguard food safety. The Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene issued a Food Safety Order, prohibiting the import and supply of aquatic products, sea salt, and seaweeds from ten specified metropolis/prefectures. Additionally, comprehensive radiological tests are being conducted by the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) to ensure that radiation levels in other Japanese food products remain within the guidelines before they are allowed in the market.

Aquatic products, sea salt, and seaweeds originating from Tokyo, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Chiba, Gunma, Tochigi, Niigata, Nagano, and Saitama are prohibited from being imported into and supplied in Hong Kong, as stated in the Food Safety Order. However, for other Japanese food products not covered by the ban, the CFS conducts rigorous radiological tests to verify their safety before they are made available for consumption in the market.

Recognising the unprecedented nature of the nuclear-contaminated water discharge, the Hong Kong Government is closely monitoring the situation and intensifying testing arrangements. If any anomalies are detected, further measures, including potential tightening of the import ban, may be implemented to ensure public safety and confidence.

From 25th September to 26th September, the CFS conducted radiological tests on 139 food samples imported from Japan, specifically in the category of aquatic products, seaweeds, and sea salt. It was found that none of the samples exceeded the safety limit. Detailed information on the test results can be accessed on the CFS’s thematic website dedicated to “Control Measures on Foods Imported from Japan.”

In addition to imported food, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) conducted radiological tests on 50 samples of local catch, all of which passed the tests. This comprehensive approach ensures that both imported and locally sourced food meet the required safety standards. The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) has also intensified environmental monitoring of local waters, with no anomalies detected thus far. Detailed information on the environmental monitoring activities can be found on the HKO’s website.

To date, the CFS and the AFCD have conducted radiological tests on a total of 5,209 food samples imported from Japan and 1,654 samples of local catch. All samples have passed the tests, providing reassurance regarding the safety of these food products.