This must be the first confirmed case of small children having been fed with the beef contaminated with radioactive cesium.
These small children ate beef from a meat cow in Asakawa-machi in Fukushima Prefecture, and the cow had been fed with the rice hay that contained the maximum 97,000 becuerels/kg of radioactive cesium.
Yamagata Shinbun (7/20/2011) reports:
Concerning the beef from the cows from Asakawa-machi in Fukushima Prefecture that were fed with the rice hay that contained the high level of radioactive cesium, Sakata City (in Yamagata Prefecture) announced on July 19 that 3 nursery schools in the city purchased the beef in late April, and total 290 children and teachers ate the meat in school lunches.
According to Sakata City, the three nursery schools purchased the meat from the same food grocer in the city. The meat was cooked into "hashed beef" dish and served as lunch. 240 children and 50 teachers and administrators ate 20 to 40 grams per person.
The food grocer alerted the nursery schools [after the news of contaminated rice hay in Asakawa-machi broke]. Sakata City traced the history of the meat, and confirmed that the meat that was delivered to the three nursery schools came from the Yokohama City Central Wholesale Meat Market, and the cow had come from Asakawa-machi in Fukushima Prefecture.
The city notified the parents of children at these nursery schools on July 19, and decided not to use beef in school lunches until the safety is assured.
The food safety division of the Yamagata prefectural government says "There is no way to test for radioactive materials in the beef that was served in the nursery schools, because there is no inventory left." But it also says, "It is not very likely that the meat from Asakawa-machi was highly contaminated. Even if you eat 40 grams of beef that contains radioactive cesium twice the national safety limit (of 500 becquerels/kg), it would be only 0.76 microsievert in human body. There is no need to worry excessively."
I hope parents in Yamagata remember their words. The meat can't even be tested and the Yamagata prefectural government tells these kids and parents there's no need to worry because there can't be much cesium in that meat.
By the way, the national government formally ban the shipment of cows out of Fukushima. That means the cattle farmers are now entitled to government (aka taxpayers-funded) compensation for lost business.
What would consumers who already ate the meat get? Some supermarkets say they will refund the purchase money.
Ah. Health and life are both cheap in Japan.