Supermarket chain Aeon Co. will expand its range of foodstuffs subject to radiation checks and yank any items with even trace levels.
Aeon said Nov. 8 it has received some 6,000 inquiries concerning radiation contamination since disaster flared at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March.
It cited growing public concern about contamination in deciding to tighten its standards for radiation checks.
Since mid-March, Aeon has checked for radiation, through sampling, food items offered under its Topvalu private brand independently.
These include marine and animal products as well as farm produce and rice.
Since the end of July, the chain has checked all domestically-produced beef marketed under the brand.
Any food items with more than 50 becquerels of radiation have been removed from shelves, even though the government set the safety standard at 500 becquerels.
The company has suspended sales of about 30 items so far.
The strengthened radiation checks will cover 5,000 items over the next three months.
The company said it will focus on food categories that have produced radiation readings and pay closer attention to the origin of the products it offers for sale.
Aeon said it will post a list of items found to be contaminated on its website, along with the radiation readings.
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