Chinese authorities report positive COVID-19 tests for chicken imported from Brazil

Chinese authorities report positive COVID-19 tests for chicken imported from Brazil

In a release dated August 13, Chinese officials with the Shenzhen Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters Office revealed that they became aware of the contamination after an August 11 inspection of imported chicken returned a positive COVID-19 test the following day.

The report notes that the administration of the Chinese city of Shenzhen has urged people to exercise caution while buying imported frozen food.

According to multiple reports, health officials in Shenzhen, China said that a batch of frozen chicken wings tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

The health commission of Shannxi province, where Xian city is located, said authorities are testing people and the surrounding environment connected to the contaminated shrimp products sold in a local market.

China reported several cases of frozen food packaging contaminated with the novel coronavirus this week, while New Zealand said it is investigating the possibility that its latest COVID-19 cases could be traced to imported freight.

Coronavirus was also reportedly detected on frozen packages of shrimp, which were shipped from Ecuador.

An unidentified China-based official at a Brazilian meat exporter told Reuters for a Thursday article that "it is hard to say at which stage the frozen chicken got infected". According to the CDC, the risk of infection by the virus from food products, food packaging, or bags is "thought to be very low".

Registered meat plants in Brazil follow strict sanitary procedures and their products are safe, it said.

The ministry has previously said there is no evidence that coronavirus is transmitted in food or food packaging.

The CDC and World Health Organization say the chances of catching the coronavirus from food is low.

David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory medicine expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the imported food products that tested positive in China were nearly certain to have been contaminated during packaging.

Those in close contact with the patients have not tested positive, though they have been quarantined, local authorities said, per Bloomberg. So if the virus is packed with the frozen product then it would survive said Fisher and added that "We normally talk about less than a week, but we know that the colder it is, the longer it will last".

China has been screening all meat and seafood containers coming into major ports since June when a new outbreak of COVID-19 in the capital Beijing was linked to the city's Xinfadi seafood market.

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