Japan’s Meiji Holdings said on Dec. 6 that radioactive cesium was found in infant milk powder made by the food and dairy firm, in the latest food scare to grip the country nearly nine months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Worries over the safety of food supplies have shaken the public after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi plant in the worst nuclear accident in 25 years, spreading radiation over a large swathe of northern and eastern Japan.
Cases of excessive radiation in vegetables, tea, milk, seafood and water have stoked anxiety despite assurance from public officials that the levels detected are not dangerous.
Meiji said it is unsure exactly how the cesium got into the powdered milk, but it suspects radioactive substances emitted from the Fukushima accident may have been the source. A company spokesman told Reuters hot air used in the drying process may have contained cesium.
Tests by Meiji showed that up to 30.8 becquerels of cesium was found per kilogram of the powdered milk. That is below the government-set permissible limit, but the firm will nevertheless conduct a voluntary recall of the product, called “Meiji Step.”
The limit set by Japan’s health ministry is 200 becquerels per kilogram for powdered milk, an official at the ministry’s department of food safety said.
1. stoke v.
激起 (ji1 qi3)
例: His composure had the effect of stoking her anger.
2. voluntary adj.
主動的 (zhu3 dong4 de5)
例: It was voluntary on my part. I didn’t have to do it.
3. recall v.
召回 (zhao4 hui2)
例: The automaker recalled a lot of the unsafe cars.