A previous study undertaken by CEFAS suggested that naturally-occurring polonium-210 levels might be high in fish-meal. Therefore farmed fish that were fed fish-meal might have higher levels of polonium-210 than wild fish. If true this would imply that the radiation exposure of consumers eating farmed fish would be greater than those consumers eating wild fish. The project sought to determine the concentrations of selected radionuclides in UK farmed fish and their feedstuffs; evaluate transfer factors from feed to fish for these nuclides and to assess the consequent radiation exposure to consumers.
The project examined a representative cross-section of UK salmon and trout farms and samples of both fish and feed were collected and analysed. The sample preparation and analytical techniques were the same as those used in the Agency's routine radioactivity monitoring programmes, the results of which are published in the annual RIFE report. The results obtained were compared with other farmed fish data and the radiation exposure of consumers was assessed.
The Radioactivity in Food and the Environment (RIFE) report is published annually by the Agency in conjunction with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the Environment Agency (EA) and the Environment and Heritage Service of Northern Ireland (EHSNI).
Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.