Radioactivity in food

The purpose of measuring radioactivity in food samples is to gather information on the uptake of radionuclides through food. The measurements are also used for obtaining an estimate on the radiation exposure caused by daily consumption of food.

Man-made radioactivity in food is monitored by collecting daily portions of solid food over a period of one week. Drinks are collected for one day only. This gives an estimate on the radioactivity in food served by institutional kitchens and the radiation exposure of those consuming this food. The radioactivity of Cs-137 in food may be notably higher if the food is prepared from a large amount of natural produce, as wild berries, freshwater fish, mushrooms and game still have concentrations of radioactive cesium originating from the Chernobyl accident.

The Cs-137 and Sr-90 concentrations in daily food are minor, as the farming products used in preparing food are virtually free of radioactive materials. The variation in measurements depends largely on the diet for the specific day of sampling and geographic variation in the source of the ingredients.




  • Vaaramaa Kaisa
    Head of Laboratory / MIT tel. +358975988521