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Contamination fears over Japanese food

Contamination fears over Japanese food
A Sailor assigned to Naval Air Facility Misawa carries debris to a dumpsite during a cleanup effort at the Misawa Fishing Port, in Misawa, Japan, March 14, 2011. More than 90 Sailors from Naval Air Facility Misawa volunteered in the relief effort, assisting Misawa City employees and members of the community following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country. UPI/Devon Dow/U.S. Navy. | License Photo

SYDNEY, March 18 (UPI) -- Sushi restaurants are dropping Japanese fresh food over fears of contamination from radiation released by Japan's damaged nuclear reactors, officials say.

"Our guests' safety is our top priority," said Sari Yong, a spokeswoman for Shangri-La Asia, which has 71 luxury hotel locations worldwide. "As a precaution, we have temporarily stopped importing fresh food from Japan."

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The Mandarin Oriental International's hotel in Hong Kong and the city's Four Seasons Hotel have stopped buying food from Japan, The Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald reported Friday.

"Until the situation stabilizes in the country, it seems unlikely that guests will feel comfortable consuming Japanese produce," said Sally De Souza, spokeswoman for the Mandarin Oriental hotel group.

Australian food safety authorities say they are monitoring the potential health risks from imported Japanese food exposed to radiation.

Similar steps are being taken in South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Singapore and the Philippines.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement it is monitoring Japanese food for contamination and weighing steps that "may include increased and targeted product sampling," the Morning Herald reported.

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