Fruits and vegetable import from Shizuoka suspended

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) will extend its suspension of import of fruits and vegetables from Shizuoka with immediate effect.

This is after radioactive contaminants were detected in a sample of Komatsuna (Japanese Mustard Spinach) imported from the Shizuoka prefecture. Tests on the shipment yesterday showed that it had 648bq/kg of Iodine-131, 155bq/kg of Cesium-134, and 187bq/kg of Cesium-137. The Codex guidelines for radionuclides in food (other than infant food) for Iodine 131 is 100 bq/kg, Cesium 134 is 1000 bq/kg and Cesium 137 is 1000 bq/kg.

AVA has increased its surveillance of food imports from Japan since the start of the incident at Fukushima Nuclear Plant to ensure that they are safe for consumption. To date, 379 samples of fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, milk and milk products imported from Japan have been tested for radioactive contamination.

Meanwhile, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is monitoring radiation levels in Singapore on a continuous basis, and findings to date show that radiation levels in Singapore remain normal. Coastal water samples tested also do not show the presence of radioactive iodine and cesium.

PUB has also stepped up the daily monitoring of radioactivity level in Singapore's water supplies, including rain water in the catchments, with the radioactivity levels well within the safety levels stipulated in the World Health Organisation Drinking Water Guidelines.

NEA advises that there is low risk of cross-contamination from passengers, flight crew, baggage or cargo from Japan.

Singaporeans returning from the evacuation zone who feel unwell are advised by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to seek medical advice at the Emergency Department of their nearby Public Restructured Hospital (RH) upon return to Singapore for medical consultation. Those who did not come from the evacuation zone do not need any form of medical assessment nor do they need to seek prescriptions for potassium iodide (KI), said the MOH.

According to a joint statement from different government bodies including those mentioned above, the Singapore Government is following the situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant very closely, and is continuing its measures to safeguard Singapore from radioactive contamination.