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NYC Restaurants Using Radiation Detectors On Fish From Pacific

Chefs Say So Far So Good, But Will Remain Vigilant
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Fish radiation detector

Some New York City restaurants are using radiation detectors to check the fish the are originating in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Could powerful radiation from those reactors in Japan be tainting the fish you’re eating here at home? While the government says no, some restaurant owners aren’t taking any chances.

At Le Bernardin in Manhattan fish is a way of life.

“Well our fish is the freshest, of course, and it comes from the best,” owner Eric Ripert told CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne.

But celebrity owner Ripert said he’s making sure of it. He’s testing every single piece of fish that comes through his door for radiation.

“Some of our clients started asking us some questions and they were concerned,” Ripert said.

The concern is over radiation in the Pacific Ocean. A leak in one of the nuclear reactors in tsunami-ravaged Japan has spewed tons of radioactive material into the ocean. The Food & Drug Administration is testing all fish that comes into the United States and so far they say they haven’t found any contamination.

Neither has Ripert.

“For a week now we are using it on all products that come to the restaurant and so far it’s absolutely zero radiation,” Ripert said.

So the radiation tester is really very easy to use. They take it and they run it along the surface of the fish.

There’s no radiation tester at the Lobster Place in Chelsea Market, but manager Davis Herron said he’s sure his fish is radiation-free.

“We deal will suppliers that we trust and we know,” Herron said.

David Wallis of the West Village said he isn’t worried. Thorne caught up with him just as he was about to dig into his Chesapeake soft shell crab roll.

“We’re good. I don’t think it’s gotten to the Chesapeake yet,” Wallis said.

Debbie Cersosimo of West Hartford, Conn., said she’s just going to avoid fish for a while.

“You get enough radiation in everything else. You go through exams and stuff like that. No thanks,” she said.

While there’s no immediate concern for our food supply, all eyes are on Japan as the situation continues to unfold.

Chefs Thorne spoke to said if you’re concerned about your fish, you should ask a restaurant or grocery store staff where the fish came from.

Are you concerned over possible radiation in the foods you eat? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

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