Peter Cordingley of the World Health Organization initially told reporters that the food safety situation in Japan "was more serious than originally thought." However, he clarifies that short-term exposure to these radiation-contaminated food do not pose immediate health risks, although the situation was deemed more serious because traces of contamination were found beyond the 30-kilometer evacuation zone.
Cordingley said that the WHO is watching the situation.
Tap water in the village of Iitake was found to have thrice the maximum standard of radioactive iodine on Monday. The water contained 965 becquerels per kilogram. This value is above the 300-becquerel limit, and residents have been advised not to drink the water although it can still be used for nondrinking purposes such as bathing, according to Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano.
Last Sunday, milk from the Fukushima prefecture and spinach from the Ibaraki prefecture have been banned. The same products from Gunma and Tochigi prefectures have also been banned. Radioactive iodine levels found in the milk produced from these four locations ranged from "about 20% of the acceptable limit to more than 17 times that limit." Radioactive iodine levels in spinach from ten locations in Ibaraki, meanwhile, ranged from 5% above the acceptable limit to over 27 times that limit.