Radioactivity in food

ifp offers food testing for radioactive contamination. The gamma spectrum of the sample is recorded and the activity of food-relevant isotopes is determined in Bq/kg:

  • Iodine-131
  • Caesium-134
  • Caesium-137

For further information please see the following page:


In the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a number of European food regulations entered into force.

Regulation (EURATOM) No. 3954/87 (amended by Regulation (EURATOM) No. 2218/89), for instance, entitles the European Commission to issue an emergency regulation specifying maximum permitted levels of radiological contamination in foodstuffs and feedstuffs in the event of a radiological accident or any other case of radiological emergency.

A list of minor foodstuffs is given in Regulation (EURATOM) No. 944/89. Their maximum permitted levels of radiological contamination are ten times higher.

The maximum permitted levels for feedingstuffs are set out in Regulation (EURATOM) No. 770/90.

Regulation (EC) No. 733/2008 (“Chernobyl Regulation”) contains maximum values specifically for agricultural products that originate in third countries after the Chernobyl accident.


In response to the severe nuclear accident that occurred in Fukushima, Japan, in March 2011, Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 297/2011 was issued. Pursuant to this emergency regulation, the maximum permitted iodine-131, caesium-134 and caesium-137 levels specified in Regulations No. 3954/87, 944/89 and 770/90 were initially applied to the import of food and feed from the affected Japanese prefectures. Soon after, this Regulation was amended by currently valid Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 351/2011, Annex II of which specifies new maximum levels in agreement with the maximum values currently valid in Japan.