If you've going to Germany to experience Oktoberfest for beer and sausages this fall, chances are you might want to stay away from the boar while you're there. A new study from the German government, reported by The Telegraph, shows that more than one in three wild boar killed by hunters in the region are too radioactive to be safe for humans to eat.
Since 2012, hunters in the Saxony region of Germany have had to get any wild boar they kill tested for radiation. In one year, the state reports that 297 of 752 boar tested contained more than the safe limit of 600 becquerels of radioactive material caesium-137 per kilogram for human consumption. Some boar tested had radiation levels dozens of times higher than the safe limit.
Some boar had radioactive material dozens of times higher than the safe limit
Saxony is 700 miles from Chernobyl, where a 1986 explosion at a nuclear plant sent radioactive material into the atmosphere. Subsequent rain and wind carried the radioactive material far and wide across Europe.
It's thought that boar are more susceptible to radiation contamination because their diet consists of mushrooms and truffles that are buried in the ground and hold radiation longer than other vegetation. As a result of the contaminated meat, the German government has paid out thousands of euros in compensation to hunters, which have to destroy anything that tests as unsafe and cannot sell it for profit.
Even though it has been 28 years since the Chernobyl disaster, The Telegraph points out that experts say the radiation could be around in unsafe levels for another 50 years.