Elution of cesium-137 (137Cs) from tofu into water was investigated to know the behavior of 137Cs during preservation and cooking. The food processing retention factor (Fr) reached 0.55 when tofu was soaked in water at a ratio of 1:2 w/w for 24 h at 4°C. Doubling the amount of water did not further significantly decrease Fr. When tofu was held in water at a ration of 1:2 w/w at a temperature of 80℃ for 50 min, Fr was 0.72. Increasing the amount of water to 10 times the tofu weight did not further reduce Fr significantly. Cesium-137 is mostly bound to tofu and does not freely diffuse into water. Tofu was then soaked in water at a ratio of 1:2 w/w at 4℃ for 24 h, placed in new water at a ratio of 1:2 w/w, and held at 80℃ for 50 min, resulting in an Fr 0.33. This value is close to an estimated Fr calculated by multiplying the Fr of 0.55 from soaking at 4°C by the Fr of 0.72 from the hot water treatment. The calculated Fr from soybeans sequentially processing into tofu, soaking tofu at 4°C for 24 h and in hot water at 80°C for 50 min was about 0.1, indicating 90% removal of 137Cs. Degree of decrease in 137Cs during preservation and cooking of tofu demonstrated in this study will be useful for exposure assessment of 137Cs through oral intake of contaminated soybeans after processing and cooking.
This study used questionnaires to evaluate knowledge levels of risk management of raw-consumption of oysters and of norovirus as health hazards among monitors signed up for Food Safety Commission of Japan (FSCJ) having work experiences in food fields. The mean scores of monitors on norovirus knowledge were relatively high (79%), but on oyster raw-consumption were low (64%). Scores varied depending on occupational experiences; highest among administrative officials, high among researchers in food companies, and low among medical workers and educators. The higher scores with more practical experiences for risk management of oyster raw-consumption and norovirus were observed among the monitors. These monitors were expected better to recognize the risks, wheres only few monitors among the opinion-leaders replied correctly to all the questions. These results suggest the need of improvement on the management system for oyster raw-consumption, from the current complicated to the more precise and reinforced for consumers. To efficiently manage the risk associated with the consumption of raw oysters, the government should provide more relevant information of risk management to persons having interest, particularly influencers, in order to disseminate information and to improve knowledge among cooks and consumers.
Food Safety Commission of Japan (FSCJ) was requested by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) to conduct a risk assessment of cattle meat and offal imported from the United States of America (U.S.A.), Canada and Ireland. FSCJ assessed potential influences on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) risks to human health in cases of the alteration of cattle age to be allowed to import of cattle meat and offal from the three countries, from the current under 30 months of age to no age limitation, in line with the international standards for mitigating BSE risks. FSCJ judges that the control measures regarding “risks related to slaughtering and meat processing” are appropriately implemented in the three countries. FSCJ concludes that potential variations of BSE risks to human health by removing the age limit on cattle meat and offal excluding specified risk material (SRMs) imported from the three countries in line with the international standards is negligible.