A total of 1,200 kilograms of radioactive cesium-contaminated beef has been sold to consumers in at least 13 prefectures, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Saturday.
The beef came from 42 cows shipped by a livestock farmer in Asakawamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, who fed the cattle with rice straw contaminated with high levels of radioactive cesium.
Although sales have been confirmed in only 13 prefectures, the meat has been distributed to Tokyo and at least 27 prefectures, the respective governments of which are investigating the wholesale and retail channels.
The local governments will collect frozen beef currently being stored by merchants, and have research institutes conduct tests to determine whether the meat contains radioactive materials.
At least 1,200 kilograms of the cesium-tainted beef has been sold in supermarkets and butcher shops in Aichi, Akita, Ehime, Gifu, Gunma, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Kagawa, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Nagano, Saitama and Shizuoka prefectures, according to the local governments concerned.
The local governments of Tokyo and the 27 prefectures where the beef in question has been distributed have asked merchants to ensure it does not reach store shelves.