An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Radiation Protection

Is there radioactivity in food?

Food may contain different types and amounts of naturally-occurring radioactive materials. For example, a small fraction (0.012%) of potassium in foods is radioactive. Additionally, naturally-occurring radioactive materials in the soil can transfer to crops, and fish and shellfish can take up radioactivity from water or sediments. Generally, food in the home contains too little radioactivity to be detected and does not pose a significant health risk.

For information about food recalls and alerts in the United States, please visit U.S. Food Safety: Recalls and Alerts on

Return to Frequent Questions about Radiation Protection.