Chicken wings imported to China from Brazil test positive for COVID-19

Henrietta Strickland
August 14, 2020

Frozen chicken wings that were exported from Brazil to China reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, according to a Thursday statement from Chinese officials.

A fish market in china.

The outlet reported that any people who came into contact with the wings were tested by local health authorities. The chicken was purchased from an Aurora Alimentos plant located in Santa Catarina.

What are the other cases?

Meanwhile, in Wuhu city, the outside of an Ecuador frozen shrimp package had tested COVID-19 positive.

The first cluster of COVID-19 cases was linked to the Huanan seafood market in the city of Wuhan.

"It is hard to say at which stage the frozen chicken got infected", said a China-based official at a Brazilian meat exporter.

In addition to screening all meat and seafood containers coming into major ports in recent months, China has suspended some meat imports from various places, including Brazil, since mid-June.

In other news, President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation has announced that his country has developed the first vaccine offering "sustainable immunity" against the coronavirus.

Is there any real threat of catching coronavirus from food?

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.

This is not the first time the authorities are finding the virus on packaging.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday it saw no evidence of coronavirus being spread by food or packaging and urged people not to be afraid of the virus entering the food chain, according to Reuters.

"There is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food or food packaging". However, the local authorities have asked consumers to be careful while buying any imported frozen foods.

Coronaviruses need an animal or human host to multiply, and food is not a suitable environment for their survival, experts say.

What is the United Kingdom government's stance?

If the virus taken from the food products can be grown in labs, however, then they are infectious, he said, adding that the coronavirus can survive freezing temperatures and still be active when thawed.

On imported foods, the FSA says the risk of contamination is still very unlikely because of the tight laws around businesses have to follow in order to bring goods in the UK.

The CDC recommends safe food practices like washing hands after touching food packaging and food products, and cooking meat thoroughly.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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