The local consumers’ cooperative union in Fukushima Prefecture has found that the levels of radioactive cesium in home-cooked meals in the prefecture are mostly below the maximum allowable limit of 1 becquerel per kilogram. Co-op Fukushima, based in Fukushima City, released on March 6 the result of its survey on radioactive materials in food served at home in the prefecture between November 2013 and February this year.
Of 100 households surveyed using meals prepared over two days, 96 showed measurements below the limit for radioactive cesium. In the remaining four households, the figures were slightly above the limit, but Osamu Sato, a specially appointed professor at Fukushima University’s Graduate School of Human Development and Culture who serves as adviser to the co-op’s decontamination team, said there are no ill effects on human health at such levels.
With the cooperation of co-op staff members, measurements were taken on the samples, each made up of six meals from two days at a single household. Of the four households that exceeded the limit, the one with the highest reading showed a level of 2.6 becquerels per kilogram for Cesium 137 and 1.1 becquerels per kilogram for Cesium 134.
Members of households participating in the survey were also tested for internal exposure to radioactive materials using a whole-body counter. All 82 people screened had counts below the 300 becquerel threshold for human exposure to radiation.