The Meiji Step powered milk measured up to 30.8 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram (2.2 pounds ). The company decided to go ahead with the recall although the level was below the government’s recommended limit of 200 becquerels per kilo. Shares in the company fell 10% in early trading in Tokyo after the company announced it would recall the formula.
The company says it does not know how the cesium got into the powdered milk, but may have been caused by the prevailing winds that picked up radioactive substances from the Fuksushima nuclear plant.
The milk is produced in Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo, and sold throughout Japan.
This is the nation’s latest food alarm that has been affected by excessive radiation found in rice, tea, seafood, meat and some vegetables.
One concerned mother of a nine-month old baby said, “We have to be careful what we eat and can’t take medicine even when we are sick because it will get into the breast milk. We care about our children so much. It is so upsetting that a big company like Meiji was not thinking seriously enough about checking the product sooner.”