Radioactivity in food

radioactivity testing

Radioactivity has been around since the earth was created and it exists naturally in the atmosphere, soil, seas and rivers. It's also created by human activity during energy production and military operations. Inevitably some of this gets into the food we eat.

Radioactivity is invisible, tasteless and not mentioned on food labels. But levels in food are strictly monitored and controlled.

More in this section

  • Radioactivity in food: your questions answered

    Answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about radioactivity in food.

  • Radiological safety of food research

    Research investigating the impact of radiological discharges in the UK on foodstuffs, and the safety and detection of irradiated food.

  • Radiological surveillance

    Radioactivity, like any other contaminant of food, needs to be monitored to ensure that food safety is not compromised and consumers are adequately protected.

  • Irradiated food

    Irradiation can be used to kill bacteria that cause food poisoning, such as salmonella, campylobacter and E.coli. It can also delay fruit ripening and help stop vegetables such as potatoes and onions from sprouting.