In response to queries from concerned customers, some beverage producers have launched systems that provide radiation content information on their products.
Curious customers can now use their cellphones to access Internet sites that will tell a person where a certain drink was produced and the results of any radiation tests done on the product.
Kirin Beverage Co. in March established a webpage that allows users to obtain product safety information. A QR code on the beverage container is photographed with a cellphone camera to gain access to the dedicated webpage. After inputting some data, including the expiration date, printed on the container, the user is provided with information, such as “Produced in Kanagawa Prefecture on April 14, 2012.” The user can then go to a page on radiation testing, and a message is displayed, such as “Radioactive substances have not been detected.”
Kirin Beverage said it plans to expand the service to all of its products by July.
Checks are conducted at the Kirin group’s food-safety center in Yokohama. Product samples are sent from about 40 factories almost daily to the center, and 50 to 60 samples are checked a day.
Other beverage makers have also made public their checking systems and posted the results on their websites, but few have disclosed detailed information, such as the production factory and date of each product, such as Kirin has been doing.
Kirin said it is simply responding to customers’ persistent concerns about the origin of its products and test results.
“Once we start providing information on a product, we have to continue doing that,” said Yoshinori Shuto, Kirin Beverage president. “We have to be determined.”
Yasushi Nakashiba, another Kirin Beverage official, said: “By making the data available, we are meeting our customers’ desires to be able to access the information on their own.”
Ito En Ltd., another drinks maker, also began a similar system in late May, starting with its mainstay green tea beverage. The company now plans to extend the service to include barley tea, vegetable juice and other tea leaf products.
“I believe there will be no problem this year,” said Ito En President Daisuke Honjo. “However, this should definitely reassure (our customers).”
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