China Finds Coronavirus In Frozen Food Imports, WHO Downplays Risk

Henrietta Brewer
August 14, 2020

According to a report by Indian Express, the Yantai city government said in a statement that the seafood was from an imported shipment that landed at Dalian but did not say where it originated from.

Chinese authorities have found traces of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the packaging of imported frozen seafood that arrived from the port city of Dalian for the second time since July, news agency Reuters reported.

Shenzhen's health authorities traced and tested everyone who might have come into contact with potentially contaminated food products, and all results were negative.

The WHO says it is "highly unlikely that people can contract Covid-19 from food or food packaging".

Three packaging samples of imported frozen seafood tested positive for Covid-19 in Yantai, a northern city of Shandong province, the city government said on its official Weibo account on Tuesday. Subsequently, imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers were suspended.

One of the people infected works at a cool store that processes frozen foods from overseas.

Enhanced coronavirus testing in Christchurch, New Zealand.

According to Bloomberg, residents in China have been urged to be cautious when buying imported frozen food.

The Chinese authorities have been stepping up screenings at ports since June, after a coronavirus outbreak emerged from the largest wholesale food market in Beijing.

The World Health Organization said that there had been no examples proving that the virus could be transmitted as food borne, if it was actually in food.

Viruses can survive up to two years at temperatures of minus 20 deg C, but scientists have said there is no strong evidence so far that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 can spread via frozen food. "Coronaviruses can not multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply", the World Health Organization says. The company said it takes all possible measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and there is no evidence it is spread through food.

They also add cooking food will kill the virus.

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry has asked Chinese authorities for information that could help clarify the alleged contamination of the product with Covid-19, it said in a statement.

According to the CDC, the risk of infection by the virus from food products, food packaging, or bags is "thought to be very low".

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