Beijing orders ban on frozen food from countries with major coronavirus outbreaks

WION Web Team Beijing, China Sep 28, 2020, 05.40 PM(IST)

Wet market in China Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Health authorities, including the World Health Organisation and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have said the possibility of spread of coronavirus through food is low. But China is vary of a possible re-contamination.

Authorities in China's capital Beijing have ordered importers to avoid frozen food from countries suffering major coronavirus outbreaks in the wake of imported seafood testing positive for the virus in several incidents.

Health authorities, including the World Health Organisation and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have said the possibility of spread of coronavirus through food is low. But China -- where the virus first broke out in December, 2019 -- is vary of a possible re-contamination.

The Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau had earlier said "customs and local governments have repeatedly detected the coronavirus in imported cold chain food, proving it risks contamination."

The bureau urged importers to "take the initiative to avoid importing cold chain foods from areas severely hit by the pandemic."

To this end, China suspended poultry imports from a Tyson Foods plant in the United States in June.

Also read | Food exporters to China asked to declare produce is coronavirus-free

Last month, a batch of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil tested positive for coronavirus in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

On Saturday, customs officials said that samples taken from the outer packaging of imported Russian aquatic products in Shandong province tested positive for coronavirus.

And on Friday China Customs said the inner packaging of a batch of frozen fish from Brazil also tested positive for the virus.

As of September 7, China had suspended imports from dozens of food companies across at least 19 countries and regions where workers have been infected with coronavirus, according to state media.

Also read | Chinese city says chicken imported from Brazil has tested positive for coronavirus

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