Taiwan Japanese restaurant offers radiation checks for diners

Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:05am GMT

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TAIPEI, March 21 (Reuters) - One of Taiwan's top Japanese restaurants is offering diners the use of a radiation gauge before they eat in case of any nerves in the wake of Japan's nuclear disaster.

Diners at the upscale Peony in Taipei's Xinyi business and financial district can pick up the machine at the counter when they come in, check themselves for radiation or use it to check their food, general manager Catherine Yang told Reuters.

"I can give my customers a promise: if you eat at Peony I guarantee that everything you get will be the safest and the best," Yang said.

"Customers have found it really interesting, not many of them have seen radiation gauges, and many feel very reassured," she added.

The prospect of radiation releases after Japan's earthquake-triggered nuclear disaster has worried many in Taiwan, which is geographically relatively close, has its own nuclear power plants and is, like Japan, prone to earthquakes.

Japanese food is also hugely popular on the island, where the nuclear energy body has stepped up monitoring of imported goods from Japan and is checking all arriving airline passengers from Japan for radiation levels.

Aside from slight radiation detected in a small shipment of broad beans over the weekend, which was in any case within legal limits, it has yet to find any contamination.

Yang noted there was a lack of knowledge about radiation among the public, and offering the gauge was as much about reassurance as checking food that has already been inspected by authorities, and does not come from the affected areas of Japan.   Continued...

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