Radiation dose received from food

Man-made radioactivity in food is monitored by collecting daily portions of solid food from institutional kitchens in three different locations over a period of one week. Drinks are collected for one day only. The concentrations of radioactive substances in food provide an estimate of the radiation dose received from food.

The solid food samples for 24 hours are combined into one sample that is dried and homogenized. Cesium-137 (Cs-137) is analyzed from the dried daily samples by gamma spectrometry measurements. After the cesium analysis, the daily samples are ashed and combined into a weekly sample for strontium-90 (Sr-90) analysis. The amount of radioactive substances is expressed in becquerels (Bq) in the amount of food consumed per day or week.

The Cs-137 and Sr-90 concentrations in daily food are typically minor, as the farming products used in preparing food are virtually free of radioactive substances. The radioactivity of individual meals may be higher if the food is prepared from a large amount of natural produce, as wild berries, freshwater fish, mushrooms and game still have concentrations of radioactive cesium originating from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.

In 2022, the annual radiation dose from artificial radioactive substances in food is assessed to be 0.0026 millisieverts when estimated on the basis of food from institutional kitchens.

The intake of Cs-137 and Sr-90 from food in 2022

City Date of Sampling

Cs-137 (Bq/day) food

Sr-90 (Bq/week) food
Helsinki 24.10.2022 0,11 0,36
  25.10.2022 0,33  


  27.10.2022 0,69  
  28.10.2022 0,24  
  29.10.2022 0,34  
  30.10.2022 0,21  
Rovaniemi 31.10.2022 0,15 0,25


  2.11.2022 0,16  
  3.11.2022 0,14  
  4.11.2022 0,09  
  5.11.2022 0,13  
  6.11.2022 0,19  
Tampere 31.10.2022 0,28 0,25
  1.11.2022 0,16  
  2.11.2022 0,17  
  3.11.2022 0,22  
  4.11.2022 0,21  
  5.11.2022 0,16  
  6.11.2022 0,17  


The intake of Cs-137 and Sr-90 from drink in 2022

City Date of Sampling 137Cs (Bq/day) drink 90Sr (Bq/day) juoma
Helsinki 24.10.2022 0,09 0,02
Rovaniemi 3.11.2022 0,11 0,02
Tampere 7.11.2022 0,43 0,02