20th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong has taken decisive action in response to the Japanese government’s plan to release nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station. The Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene has issued a Food Safety Order prohibiting the import and supply of all aquatic products, sea salt, and seaweeds originating from ten metropolis/prefectures in Japan. These areas include Tokyo, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Chiba, Gunma, Tochigi, Niigata, Nagano, and Saitama.
For other Japanese aquatic products, sea salt, and seaweeds that are not subject to the import ban, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will conduct comprehensive radiological tests. These tests aim to verify that the radiation levels of these products do not exceed the guideline levels before they are allowed to be supplied in the market.
Given the unprecedented nature of the nuclear-contaminated water discharge, which is expected to continue for over 30 years, the Hong Kong government will closely monitor and strengthen testing arrangements. If any anomalies are detected, the government remains open to the possibility of further tightening the scope of the import ban.
In recent testing conducted by the Centre for Food Safety (CFS), 142 food samples imported from Japan, falling under the category of “aquatic and related products, seaweeds, and sea salt,” were subjected to radiological level assessments between noon on 19th September and noon on 20th September. Fortunately, none of the samples exceeded the safety limit.
The Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department (AFCD) has also carried out radiological tests on 50 samples of locally caught food, all of which passed the rigorous assessments.
In addition to food safety measures, the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) has increased environmental monitoring of local waters. To date, no anomalies have been detected.
Since 24th August, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) and the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department (AFCD) have conducted radiological tests on a total of 4,232 samples of food imported from Japan, including 2,455 samples of aquatic and related products, seaweeds, and sea salt. Additionally, 1,352 samples of locally caught food were tested by the AFCD. All samples have passed the rigorous assessments, ensuring the safety of the food supply in Hong Kong.