Some radioactive beef in Japan sold and consumed

by Editor
Friday, July 15, 2011

The meat of six cattle that ate radioactive straw at a Fukushima Prefecture farm has been shipped across the country and probably eaten.

The cattle ate the same straw at a farm in Minami-Soma near the crippled Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear plant. The straw contained radioactive cesium around 56 times the allowable limit of 300 Becquerels. Another 11 cows were shipped to a Tokyo meat-packing plant and their meat was found to contain radioactive cesium three to six times the allowable level of 500 Becquerels. This meat was not shipped to markets.

Cows at the farm in Minami-Soma are believed to have been exposed to radiation internally because they were fed straw that contained radioactive cesium at levels far above the allowable limit, probably because it had been kept outdoors. The farm shipped the six cows between May and June. Their beef was distributed to Tokyo and Shizuoka, Osaka, Kanagawa and Ehime prefectures. It was also distributed to dealers in Hokkaido, Aichi, Tokushima and Kochi.

5.9 kilos of meat was shipped to a grill eatery in the prefecture from a Tokyo processing plant, and 3.15 kilos of that meat had been consumed. One cow's worth of meat was consumed in a restaurant in Chitose. The meat was also sold at a supermarket chain in Tokushima and Kochi prefectures. Excessive levels of radioactive cesium were found in the distributed beef kept at a restaurant in Shizuoka City and at a wholesaler in Tokyo, Shizuoka and Tokyo.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will conduct safety inspections on all farms that raise cattle for beef, or about 260 in all, in areas of Fukushima Prefecture's evacuation zone.