Radioactive water leaking from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in Japan has reportedly been stopped — but that hasn't made those in the seafood industry feel any better.
Before the leak was staunched, radioactive levels in the sea water outside of the plant were measured at some 7.5 million times the legal limit, leading many to speculate if fish might become severly impacted.
The mood back here in the States is cautious, with federal inspectors taking every measure to protect the nation's food supply. Though nothing out of the ordinary has been detected, not every chef is so willing to trust in others — especially when they have a seafood empire to consider.
"I started to see a bit of paranoia in some of our clients," said chef Eric Ripert, a former "Top Chef" judge and world-renowned seafood restauranteur. "Some of our staff was also concerned, myself included."
To alleviate any fears whatsoever, Ripert bought a radiation scanner as an extra layer of protection for his customers.
"I thought by having a machine at the restaurant, it will really make us feel much more comfortable to talk to our clients, for ourselves, and I was very confident that we would find absolutely nothing in terms of radiations, and the result is that we find absolutely nothing," he told CNN.
While MSNBC ran a video hinting that Ripert stopped using seafood from Japan due to the radiation, it's actually more due to limited supplies of the species kampachi and hamachi. "We decided to stop using it at the restaurant, but it had nothing to do with the fact that we thought it was contaminated," he said.
Ripert added that he believes Japanese officials are being extremely transparent in terms of the safety of the food exported to America; something he backs up daily with his radiation scanner.
"I'm happy about that," he said "And it's not — you know, it's not about scaring people, actually. It's about stopping conspiracy theories and stopping paranoia in some cases, to some degree, to some people."
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