The United States Food and Drug Administration have recently announced that they will be closely monitoring all food that is imported from Japan to the U.S. This is due to the Fukushima Nuclear problem that Japan is currently been experiencing.
The FDA will monitor for the possible presence of radiation in food and at the same time quantify the level of radiation present, if any. The most commonly imported foods from Japan are processed vegetables and fruits, seafood and different kinds of snack foods.
Included in the FDA’s monitoring process is determining where the imported food products were grown, where it has been harvested and where it has been produced in Japan. This is also to ensure that the imported products have not been contaminated with radiation. Imported food from other countries which have passed Japan will also be included in the monitoring.
The FDA, in its monitoring, uses laboratory techniques and procedures to measure the level of radionuclide in food. The administration is also working in cooperation with U.S. Customs, which has equipment that can do a full scan on shipping containers.
Radiation contamination happens when food that has radioactive materials is ingested by the body. For instance, radioactive isotopes being carried by rain, fall to the grasses on land. These grasses are eaten by cows that inhabit the area. The cows then have the possibility of being contaminated with radiation. If these cows are made into meat products and are ingested by humans, then contamination is also possible in humans who have eaten the infected meat product.
The United States government however, has reassured the people that although radiation from Japan has reached the U.S. (particularly the west coast), the quantity of radioactive materials present is not a cause for concern as it is does not pose any health risks.