Japan food items 'need certificate'
Manama, April 13, 2011
Food items from Japan coming into Bahrain are required to have a compulsory certificate from the exporter stating they are free from radioactive contamination, it has emerged.
The new regulation has been in place at ports, where officials are only allowing consignments that have certificates stating they are safe or fit for consumption.
'We are taking special measures when it comes to imported food items from Japan,' said Health Ministry international health regulations officer Dr Muna Al Mousawi.
'There is no need to panic at this stage as the radioactive contaminated area in Japan is far away from Bahrain,' she said.
'But we do have goods imported that require to be free from any radiation.'
Dr Al Muna was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting by GCC environment experts over the impact of the nuclear crisis in Japan.
She said it was not only products that have to be certified to be free from contamination, but vessel captains should also produce documents stating the crew and the ship was free from radioactive pollutants.
The Industry and Commerce Ministry has yet not officially announced a ban on import of goods and foodstuffs from Japan.
However, Oman, US, China and other countries last month halted imports of some Japanese food products over radiation fears.
Our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) reported on March 30 that a team of inspectors were using radiation meters to check for contamination in all food imports from Japan.
Officials are monitoring all foodstuffs at the Khalifa bin Salman Port and King Fahad Causeway.
They said if food items were found to be contaminated with radioactive materials, the procedure in place was to send back the whole lot to the country of origin instead of disposing it off in Bahrain.-TradeArabia News Service