Those serving seafood which is caught near Japan can rest easy according to a report in Bloomberg News. Readers will of course remember that the Fukushima nuclear plant suffered a partial meltdown after the recent earthquake and tsunami which inundated the island nation. One of the big concerns that had emerged from the nuclear plant’s damage was that contaminated water was finding its way into the Pacific Ocean, potentially damaging seafood there and rendering it inedible.
The report in Bloomfield News, however, says that tests conducted on seafood in another part of the world, the UK, where radiation has leaked from the Sellafield nuclear waste plant in the north of the country has shown that food safety was not compromised. In spite of the plant dumping massive amounts of cesium 137 into the Irish Sea, causing concern for the seafood caught in the area, catches have shown that the seafood has had less than half the recommended limits of radiation in them when caught. This research, according to Richard Wakeford, of University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute would seem to indicate that a long term ban on Japanese seafood is not necessary to protect consumers.
This is good news at a time when seafood is dwindling all over the world due to overfishing of popular species and when the cost of the catch is rapidly rising as well due to the ongoing oil crisis and the rapid industrialization of China. Still, in the short term at least, it may be prudent to avoid serving seafood from the south Pacific so that your customers will not be concerned about the radiation levels, low though they may be in such products. It is also worth noting that other food products which come from Japan seem to be largely unaffected as the radiation levels in tested food products are still well below the recommended limits in spite of the Fukushima disaster.