Research and analysis

Food products in radiological assessments: delays before consumption

This report (HPA-RPD-043) concerns delays between harvesting or collection of food products and consumption in radiological assessments.


HPA-RPD-043: delay times between harvesting or collection of food products and consumption for use in radiological assessments

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The time delay between the harvesting or collection of a foodstuff and its consumption must be taken into account when estimating the intake of radionuclides from deposition onto a food producing area of land. This is because a proportion of the radioactive material present in the foodstuff at the time of harvest or collection will have decayed.

In the case of short-lived radionuclides, the amount of this material that decays may be a significant fraction of the total. This report updated earlier work, taking into account changes and modernisation in industrial food processes, and also the changing popularity of different foods, since that time. Information is also presented for more foodstuffs.