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Anim Sci J. 2013 Dec;84(12):798-801. doi: 10.1111/asj.12075. Epub 2013 May 3.

Distribution of radioactive cesium in edible parts of cattle.

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Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Morioka, Japan.


After the disastrous incident of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, various agricultural, livestock and fishery products have been inspected for radioactive contamination with cesium in Japan. In this study, radioactive cesium was measured in various edible parts of cattle to verify the current inspection method for cattle, in which the neck tissues are generally used as samples. Radioactive cesium concentration in the short plate, diaphragm, liver, lung, omasum, abomasum and small intestine were lower and sirloin, tenderloin, top round meat and tongue were higher than that in the neck. There was no significant difference between the other organs (heart, kidney, lumen and reticulum) and the neck. Ninety-five percent upper tolerance limits of the relative concentration to the neck were 1.88 for sirloin, 1.74 for tenderloin, 1.87 for top round and 1.45 for tongue. These results suggest that a safety factor of 2 is recommended for the radioactivity inspection of cattle to prevent a marketing of meat with higher cesium than the legal limit. Re-inspection should be conducted using another part of muscle, for example, top round, when suspicious levels of 50-100 Bq/kg are detected in the neck.


beef; cattle; cesium; radioactive contamination

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